Recently, New Mexico House Speaker Brian Egolf hosted a “Climate Summit” at the state Capitol whose stated goal was to “develop and deliver bold new policies to address our climate crisis.” A long list of environmental activists, including Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, spoke at the conference and, predictably, they echoed the progressive mantra that New Mexico must be a leader in creating a carbon-free economy. In other words, it was a pep rally for environmental activists to reduce our standard of living.

Nonetheless, every New Mexican wants a cleaner economy, which provides high-paying jobs and delivers cheap and sustainable energy. It is a worthy goal, but it is also important to consider how that goal is realized. The climate summit’s carbon-free fairy tale failed to recognize obvious realities that makes their virtue signaling a bad deal for hardworking New Mexico families.

These eco-activist edicts are coming down from the governor and speaker not for the people, but rather imposed on the people. Whether it’s higher gasoline prices, costlier heating and cooling bills, and more expensive cars and trucks, those in charge are more than willing to force these higher prices on working families as the cost for being a “global leader” on climate change. These edicts have already proven to be detrimental to working families in European economies, and now we are supposed to sit by and allow one of the most impoverished states in the nation to carry the eco-left’s Green New Deal experiment.

The arrogance of those who think if New Mexico would only approve clean fuel standards, methane emission restrictions and stricter carbon-free mandates, that global warming will be cured, is mind-numbing and an insult to our working families. These eco-activists want to strangle our already-struggling economy, while China, India and other developing countries continue to pour carbon emissions into the atmosphere, far outpacing anything New Mexico could ever dream of producing.

While the activists shut down oil and gas in New Mexico, the Middle East is ramping up production in vastly unregulated operations. This means the SUVs the progressives drove to the Roundhouse to complain about emissions will be fueled by gasoline from operations that emit far more emissions than anything the Permian Basin would ever allow.

The governor and speaker conveniently leave out how they will make up the loss of 45 percent of the state’s revenue. They fail to mention how this loss in government funding will affect our state’s working families. Their only option is to raise taxes.

New Mexicans will not only see increasing taxes, we are in for a California-like energy crisis. Our working families already are seeing increased utility costs, increased fuel prices and inflation. Next summer will come the brownouts. Democrats have willfully sold New Mexicans peace of mind in utilities for extra campaign cash.

The reality is these environmental activists achieve nothing more than increasing our state’s economic uncertainty. Rather than having showcase “climate summits” to fire up progressive campaign contributors, let’s have all New Mexicans work together to find responsible and balanced solutions. If we continue on the path being pushed by Lujan Grisham and Egolf, our state’s economic future may be more daunting than anyone can comprehend.

House Republican Leader Rep. Jim Townsend is from Artesia.

(6) comments

Khal Spencer

As long as two million New Mexicans are buying consumer goods as well as strategic stuff made in third world countries that use coal and other hydrocarbon sources to generate the energy for their manufacturing sector, all of this Green New Deal stuff in NM is just blather, as is that insanely dumb idea of "blue hydrogen" that pumps out more infrared loving gases than just burning natural gas.

Rather than grandstanding on half baked ideas, we should be funding our university system to do research and development on new power sources, expanding UNM's Nuclear Engineering Dept, and promoting home grown industries that first, use carbon lite power and two, don't require long range shipping halfway across the planet. Oh, and cutting back on our ever loving consumption habits.

Instead, I see liberal bumper stickers on gas guzzling SUVs and the only mention of UNM I see in this paper is its expensive and failing sports program.

So sure, criticize the GOP for writing this editorial, but the Dems ain't doing a whole lot better.

Dennis McQuillan

Carbon emissions from countries like China and India are highly problematic with regard to climate change. But severe air pollution in some urban areas of developing countries creates acute public health hazards and results in millions of premature deaths each year. Look at the current situation in New Delhi. Solving these problems will require changes to the global paradigm, and affluent societies need to step up to the plate, take decisive actions without destroying our economies, and help developing societies pursue improvements to their quality of life without poisoning themselves and severely accelerating climate change. There is a leadership role for New Mexico in this effort.

Mike Johnson

"There is a leadership role for New Mexico in this effort." Seriously?

Dennis McQuillan

NM has a lot of intellectual firepower with two national laboratories, and a long history of pioneering state environmental programs.

Mike Johnson

Well said Mr. Townsend, many scientists think MLG and Biden's goals are an exercise in magical thinking: "President Joe Biden and the Democratic caucus’ efforts to remake America’s electric power system into one that emits no carbon dioxide (net zero) by 2050 in order to prevent climate change are pipe dreams.

Physics indicates the goal is an exercise in magical thinking. Reality suggests the attempt to reach the impossible goal will have little or no effect on climate.

Abundant evidence presented at Climate at a Glance and in reports by the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change shows, even if the earth continues warming modestly, a climate apocalypse is not in the offing.

Even if this research is wrong, the left’s climate proposals won’t prevent climate change. Emission reductions made by the United States by 2050 to meet the net-zero goal would be swamped by the growth in emissions in developing countries. China alone produces more than double the U.S. emissions at present and it has stated it will increase CO2 emissions for the coming decade at the very least. Developing countries already produce more than half of the global CO2 emissions, and as they strive to bring their people out of poverty, they are committed to using fossil fuels and growing emissions."

And Dr. Pielke from UC Boulder says this: "In 2019, Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. calculated the amount of fossil fuel power that would need to be replaced, based on the amount of electricity used in the United States in 2018, to hit a net zero target by 2050. At the time Pielke wrote, to reach net zero by 2050, the United States would have needed to deploy one new nuclear power plant worth of carbon-free energy about every six days, starting September 30, 2019 and continuing until 2050. Pielke specifically excluded any growth in electric power consumption between the time he wrote and 2050. Hint, the United States uses more electricity now than it did then."

Ridiculous, impossible, and a waste fo time and our money.

Jim Klukkert

In your alternative scenario, Mr. Townsend, we can endure a Survivor Reality Show based on the impending carbon fuel driven Climate Collapse.

Long on the critique, short for real solutions.

Conservatives oppose funding island nations and other third world countries now suffering from the effects of the Industrial Revolution that never delivered substantial benefits to their shores. Perhaps New Mexicans, like those island nations, should be asking for relief from the fossil fuel industries whose lasting effects have been health threats and environmental degradation.

How to fund relief? Well lets roll out to Santa Fe Airport and count private hets. Or ponder where a $50 million donation to the Santa Fe Institute originated, or why $15 million of that donation will be allocated to its Tesuque campus?

Too many at the top of the US Privilege pyramid, living too high for too long, with no-one at the wheel looking out for the future of our finite world.

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