Less than a year after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order directing New Mexico to join the U.S. Climate Alliance and abide by the goals set by the 2015 Paris Agreement, her new climate change task force released its initial report laying out a strategy for pursuing those objectives.

The report, a joint project between the state Environment and Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources departments, noted the governor’s desire to reduce emissions in the state by at least 45 percent by 2030, but added “we need to pick up the pace of our work” and stressed “without new rules to limit emissions from the oil and gas industry, those emissions are projected to escalate.”

The report also outlined the Environment Department’s plan in 2021 to complete a first emissions “inventory,” which will include data from both large and small sources of air pollution. It said the data collected will help regulators evaluate air quality, improve modeling analyses and emissions trends.

Much of the 26-page report was devoted to highlighting things the state had done this year, including the passage of the Energy Transition Act, a framework for reducing emissions in New Mexico. It also noted the work of the Methane Advisory Panel, which has been meeting in private throughout the fall to talk about a variety of technical issues on methane emissions.

Environmental advocacy groups lauded the administration’s work on methane and other emissions from the oil and gas industry, though the Western Environmental Law Center cautioned in a news release that “the strategy does not include critical ‘second-step’ actions, including a clear plan to facilitate a managed phase out of oil and gas over the coming years.”

The report said the task force will report again in September and plans to issue updates annually.

New Mexico Climate Strategy Report

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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.

(11) comments

Khal Spencer

From the Journal: "State lawmakers used the budgetary windfall during this year’s session to increase New Mexico teacher salaries, restore depleted cash reserves and appropriate nearly $400 million for highway construction and repairs statewide."

Highway construction, eh? And what is the status of Santolina? Seems we are pulling in two directions at once.

Robert Bartlett

Virtue signalling in the face of reality will not get the job done. President Trump understands that such windmill tilting is just foolishness. The American people want liberty, prosperity and the rule of law. Only a strong economy can deliver these for us.

Mandi Ravan

I think you meant vigilance in the face of reality isneeded, not what you said! Please educate yourself .

Mandi Ravan

Not if we are so stupid as to ignore the scientific forecasting we should be ding to reconfigure our economy. Please stop denying reality, read foreign papers so you will cease thinkng this is some manipulation and realize real scientists everywhere should be listened to. Or declare ALL science stupid, and give up your internet, phone, car and all other science-generated things. Your hair splitting only indicates close-minded ignorance.

Tom Ribe

I fully support the Governor's efforts to address the climate emergency. The biggest job for her and other officials is to lead New Mexico away from our near complete dependence on petroleum for our state's budget. This is the elephant in the room. We are addicted to oil and gas and it is destroying our environment. Carbon emissions are causing environmental disasters that will kill tens of millions of people soon. So lets' reorient our state economy to renewables in a very serious way. Does the governor have the will to really dig in with this problem?

Barry Rabkin

The US has approximately 275 million vehicles (not including trucks) on our roads / highways / streets and these vehicles are not going away any time soon. People tend to keep their vehicles 15 years or s0.

The US has millions of homes and none of them will be razed.

I am thankful that most of the Permian Basin is in Texas where New Mexican politicians and regulators can't touch it.

I am most thankful, though, for the Oil & Gas industry. It has kept American businesses and homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It has kept our nation's love of automobiles going for many, many, many decades.

Humans must learn to adapt to climate change without taking anything away from how our country works, commutes, eats, or entertains.

Khal Spencer

We thought the Vikings who settled in Greenland said it was an "emergency" when the N. Atlantic went into the Little Ice Age but recent work out of Lamont Doherty suggests a more complex reason, with cultural rather than climactic factors driving them out. But small changes in climate certainly affect humanity, such as famines, droughts, or worse. This will be a geopolitical and economic adjustment.

We will have to think our way out of the box again but cries that the sky is falling or that the fate of the earth (rather than our own sorry existence) is in the balance seems to have the opposite effect, i.e., taking away credibility from those who make reasoned arguments to mitigate change and discover how to manage same.

Mandi Ravan

Exactly!! Governor, make us the leader in renewables and climate adaptation!!

Dr. Michael Johnson

Another colossal waste of taxpayer money to fuel incompetent, unnecessary bureaucracy.

Khal Spencer

Being downwind of 40 million Californians who are still clogging their roads and aspiring to McMansions means that little of what we in our sparsely populated state do has consequence. What we really should do is fund our universities to be centers of excellence in developing technologies to make fossil fuels obsolete. The rest will take care of itself.

The average age of an American car on the road is at an all time high, close to 12 years. The fleet turns over slowly since cars and lubricants are far better than in the old days. The down side is we are stuck with the fleet we have. The up side is that gives us plenty of time to develop technologies that respect the environment rather than horsepower. Of course, we could negate that all through sprawl, e.g., developments such as Santolina.

This is an international problem needing international solutions, since emissions don't respect boundaries. Think about that when you buy something: do you need it, and what is its carbon footprint?

Mandi Ravan

Khal, agree on much except this: NEW MEXICO IS IN A POSITION TO LEAD ON THIS!! Not california, they are the wrong size for even do no harm experiments, whereas we have great conditions and high expertise here. Lion Girrl on fb, contact me! You know these guys will not think out of the box!

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