My colleague Sean Olson had a story last weekend that captured the struggle facing those trying to implement state-level cap and trade regulations in New Mexico (sub/ad req):
Republicans and many Democrats agree that a state cap-and-trade system would be a form of economic suicide for New Mexico.
New Mexico is a member of the Western Climate Initiative, the effort to establish a regional greenhouse gas reduction framework. Efforts to pass implementing legislation have gone nowhere, so state officials are now attempting to use the existing regulatory framework, via the state’s Environmental Improvement Board, to use the state’s Clean Air Act authority to do the job.
Sean notes that every major candidate for governor – both parties – opposes the idea.
John, any attempt to regulate at the state level what really is a national/global issue is really misguided. Even if NM drastically reduced its greenhouse gas emissions, it would have no measurable impact on global concentrations — and at what cost? That’s why PNM supports a federal approach. The US House has already passed a bill; a bipartisan group of senators is working on a different approach. We’ll see what comes of it, but carbon legislation is anything but dead in the current Congress. db