State lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday designed to put a number of actions in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

House Bill 9, called the Climate Solutions Act, would establish emission reduction requirements and mandate state agencies adopt rules to meet those standards.

“Today is the beginning of a journey on embarking on a net-zero carbon future for New Mexico,” said Rep. Melanie Stansbury, an Albuquerque Democrat who is one of several sponsors of the bill.

She and other advocates for the bill held a news conference Thursday to tout the legislation’s potential to create jobs and diversify the state’s economy with clean energy industries.

The 27-page bill focuses on the creation of an advisory climate council made of state agency Cabinet secretaries and local community and tribal leaders, among others.

That group would explore ways to develop a workforce on climate change solutions, oversee funding for new clean energy grants and develop standards for climate change preparation.

The council would be required to submit an annual progress report each September.

The legislation also calls for a 60 percent reduction in methane, carbon dioxide and organic compound emissions from the oil and gas industry — as compared to 2005 standards — by 2030.

The bill’s introduction comes just a day after President Joe Biden issued an executive order to address climate change, including a freeze on oil and gas leases on public lands and offshore waters. The Biden administration, which recently announced plans to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, also has set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Two years ago, shortly after taking office, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Energy Transition Act into law, calling for New Mexico’s major electric utilities to get 100 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2045.

House Speaker Brian Egolf, a Santa Fe Democrat who is one of the sponsors of HB 9, said during a virtual news conference Thursday that the bill follows up on that initiative. He said putting these new goals “into statute in an enforceable way … is important.”

While HB 9 does not contain an appropriation — Stansbury said lawmakers in both the House and the Senate will seek funding for the agencies responsible for fulfilling the bill’s mandates — it alludes to $100,000 grants for counties, pueblos, colleges and municipalities, among other entities, to create energy projects.

General Assignment Reporter

Robert Nott has covered education and youth issues for the Santa Fe New Mexican. He is assigned to The New Mexican's city desk where he covers a general assignment beat.

(4) comments

Mike Johnson

Yes, more eco-socialist hallucinations about how quickly they can remove all fossil fuels from NM. Scranton Joe has proposed a net zero carbon emissions plan of his own, by 2035. Of course if you do the math: According to the EIA, in 2019 there were about >11,000 utility-scale electric electricity generators (>1MW) in the US powered by fossil fuels.

To go net-zero CO2 by 2035 requires closing about 2 per day, starting today

I'd like to see the decommissioning plan Biden has....impossible.....

Paul Davis

It seems that along with a desire to use silly names to refer to politicians you don't like and/or agree with, you don't understand what net-zero means, either.

Mike Johnson

I know full well what it means, do you? "We will achieve net-zero emissions when any remaining human-caused GHG emissions are balanced out by removing GHGs from the atmosphere in a process known as carbon removal.

First and foremost, human-caused emissions — like those from fossil-fueled vehicles and factories — should be reduced as close to zero as possible. Any remaining GHGs would be balanced with an equivalent amount of carbon removal, for example by restoring forests or through direct air capture and storage (DACS) technology." So tell me where Joe is proposing all that carbon capture? He is just focused on shutting down CO2 emissions, read the plan.....only focused on stopping fossil fuel usage, period!

Donato Velasco

so the rail runner needs to be derailed until its solar operated along with all form of transportation for the state government must lead by example... all government buildings need to be solar as well..

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