Last week, when the Trump administration began its formal withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, the president sent a clear signal to the rest of the world:

The United States government once again will surrender its standing as a global leader, leaving state and local citizens and leaders to take up the mantle of climate action in this country.

Our environment is endangered. Our land, our air and water are imperiled by the effects of climate change. We do not have the luxury of inaction.

More than two dozen governors, representing more than half the U.S. states, have vowed to stand up and fight for meaningful climate action and environmental protections at the state level. I’m one of them. The states that make up the U.S. Climate Alliance have taken up this work on several fronts. In New Mexico, we’re making important progress.

We have passed an aggressive renewable energy law, we’re going to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and we have begun the essential work of moving toward a zero-carbon economy. We’re going to implement responsible clean car standards. We’re directing millions toward ecosystem resiliency to protect water resources and minimize the risks of catastrophic wildfire. We’re going to make state government as energy efficient as it can be, investing tens of millions into solar and electric vehicles and efficiency upgrades that will save us millions on our electric bills. And, of course, a crucial component: We will continue to build out our state economy so we can have sustainable revenue streams beyond just one volatile industry.

I have been clear with that industry on their role in our balanced and yet unequivocal climate approach: We recognize climate change as the threat it is to our planet and state, and we will be doing everything we must in order to combat it and improve the quality of life and health of New Mexicans. While that industry’s business is key to the current economic well-being of our state, the well-being of our state depends on clean air, soil and water. The oil and gas industry must do its part to protect public health and has a non-negotiable responsibility to develop resources wisely and within a fair regulatory framework, minimizing negative health impacts on New Mexico communities.

The state is enforcing accountability. My Environment Department continues to accelerate investigations at well pads, storage tanks, gas plants and compressor stations, ensuring the industry catches and fixes leaks as quickly as possible. We’re embracing innovation such as aerial surveillance and enacting new tools to track and mitigate ozone and methane leaks. We’re also leading to develop new applications and technologies, like replacing flares with fuel cells, to convert stranded gas to electricity. We’re engaging stakeholders at every step of the way and ensuring science leads the conversation. We are clear as to who we are in this moment — leaders with a vision and clear strategy.

The state of New Mexico must — and will — hold all industries, all sectors of our economy, accountable, from oil and gas to agriculture to transportation and beyond. To be sure, we must also hold ourselves to a higher standard individually and do what we can as citizens of the globe to reduce our emissions and modify our consumption.

But to reach the emission levels we know we must reach in a limited amount of time, we must start with rules to reduce oil and gas methane emissions while also moving to more and broader climate pollution reduction efforts, including economy-wide, market-based mechanisms. And the rules my administration will enact to protect New Mexicans from methane pollution will serve as an example to the rest of the country.

When the Trump administration takes us backward on climate action, as it did last week, we must take two steps forward. New Mexico will continue to advance the subject on climate action and environmental protection. I want all New Mexicans — across regions, across industries, across communities and political leanings and generations — to take part in our transformation to a clean energy leader, to help us lead in reducing harmful emissions, addressing the threat of climate change and strengthening our economy for the 21st century and beyond.

Michelle Lujan Grisham is the governor of New Mexico.

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(5) comments

Laddie Mills

Methane regulation is critical, but there is much more bad news to come! Trump’s irresponsible fracking free-for-all in the water-starved Permian Basin is based on denying climate change and trashing all environmental and financial protections in order to bloat O&G profits.

There is no industry accountability for the $Trillions in damages from climate fueled droughts, fires, storms, floods, etc. and the wanton destruction of water supplies, public lands, wildlife, roads, etc. The taxpayers are stuck with the bills.

This self-serving fracking rampage is a crisis. When will the state and their EPA and corporate posse develop specific solutions to bring this science-less chaos back to reality and hold O&G accountable for the damages they are creating?

David Mulberry

The first sentence shows your ignorance about the Paris is not about the is about the climate change hoax perpetrated by the Money grabbing Democrats..........while the US e mmisions are going down...thanks to fracking..the other countries want us to spend our money on them while their coal use is on the increase...........from Science Daily.............."Significantly, we found that Northern America and the EU were the only regions aiming for absolute reductions in emissions. In the Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia, substantial increases are expected."

In the meantime India is expecting trillions of dollars...mostly from us....while they are the 2nd largest polluting...after China..for the climate hoax..

While you expect THE US to give up our energy sources...why don't you mention the other countries following the Paris scam increasing their coal use...

Here is something you should read to further educate yourself before you spew your anti Trump propaganda..

So it is a very smart thing President...and yes he is President...could do..

BTW..this climate crisis is also a money making scam.....that some other time

David Mulberry

One other are for green much revenue will you lose from the oil and gas companies while the green energy gives back 0.....and will you mention the massive mining that goes into making that green energy scam.....didn't think so

Paul Gibson

Utter and complete nonsense. How in the world has this conspiracy captured 97% of the world's scientists to abandon their commitment to science and truth and foist a scam on the world. Climate change is real; it has been created by mankind and some day your children or grandchildren will look at you and your ideas with horror.

David Mulberry

First of all the 977% is a myth still going around.....second.......we have been hearing about doom and gloom so often....why do you believe it......ever since humans walked on land it was always were are doing to die of example of a false prediction by your scientists...........Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters…A secret report, suppressed by US defence chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

The Guardian 22 Feb 2004

The one question I ask.......let's if your scientists and can answer....there have been many climatic events that happened whrn the co2 levrl was lower....why..

I can go on.....what is normal 5 things that are not associated with fossil fuels.........Paris Scam is just that and we were smart to get out

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