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 55th New Mexico State Legislative Session
January 18 - February 17, 2022
 

The 30 day NM State Legislative Session ended at noon on February 17. The 30 day session was focused on financial and budget matters plus whatever the Governor put on the call. Advocates and community members from around the state showed up, spoke during public comment, lobbied their legislators & more! 

Along with partners, we protested false solutions showing up in the legislature and championed by officials like Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, Rep. Lundstrom, Sen. Muñoz and other Democrats and Republicans like Blue Hydrogen Hubs and carbon trading. On the eve of the Session, we hosted an energy democracy convergence to highlight energy democracy and important guiding principles and grassroots voices - you can view the recording here. On the opening day of the Legislature, we did a banner drop during the Governor's State of the State Address to say NO to hydrogen hubs funded by our tax dollars in NM. 

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Throughout the session we kept the pressure up and we hosted a protest and press conference outside the State Capitol. Ultimately, we got 4 hydrogen bills tabled or pulled! Thank you to our legislators who voted to table these bills. The Governor and Rep Lundstrom are focused on continuing their quest to invest in dirty hydrogen hub infrastructure in NM. 

Then as the Legislative Session was coming to an end, along with Pueblo Action Alliance and Southwest Organizing Project took part in a 2 day panel series called "No False Solutions" with amazing EJ organizers and who have been working to reject false solutions. During the session, we felt it was important to host this webinar series as the environmental movement and advocates and legislators have been divided on false solutions and industry driven policy. You can watch both webinars here.  

Then we hosted a community report back on the Legislative Session once again with Southwest Organizing Project and Pueblo Action Alliance.

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THE BILLS (This is the full list of Bills we were supporting but a key group)

  1. (HB 37) Community Energy Efficiency Development Block Grant (CEED) - View Factsheet here

  2. (HM 20) Study State-Level Public Utility Model - view factsheet here

  3. (SJR 2) Environmental Rights, CA aka the Green Amendment

  4. (HB 65) Housing Modernization Changes - View Retake's Info Page Here

  5. (SB8) NM Voting Rights Act (including 16 Vote Provisions)

  6. (HB164)Uranium Mine Clean Up

  7. (HB127) Storage of Certain Waste

OPPOSING:

  1. (HB 4) Hydrogen Hub Development Act 

  2. (HB 6) Clean Future Act (we would like to see amendments made)

How our demands inform our policy priorities

1) Policies that end dependence on fossil fuel extraction and create actionable plans to transition our economy. 

  • “Just transition” policies must have real science-based timelines and accountability measures to make sure our government is responding to the crisis, not industry’s demands, and being equitable and inclusive of communities most directly impacted—frontline Indigenous and people of color communities, youth, displaced workers, etc. 

  • We’ve been working with national partners on an Energy Justice Scorecard that sets evaluative criteria for policy initiatives to assess if they are truly equitable and justice—both in terms of the process and the policy itself. We will assess the bills being proposed this session with that yardstick. We will support efforts that create opportunities for economic development and community wealth creation—things like legalizing cannabis, a public bank, etc.

  • We need an economic transition plan. New Mexico produces more than twice the national average of greenhouse gas emissions per capita. This is largely the result of our greenhouse gas-intensive oil and gas industry. Given that oil and gas revenues comprise more than a third of the state’s budget, we need a divestment and diversification plan.

2) Policies that keep fossil fuels in the ground

  • We support a fracking moratorium, but we’re not expecting that to move this year. Still, we will be reminding lawmakers that that’s the kind of bold action they need to be working toward. 

  • In the meantime, we are looking at policies that will slow production and, most importantly, will end the subsidization of the fossil-fuel industry at the public’s expense. Things like the extremely low bonding rate in New Mexico, which places almost 100 percent of the burden of cleanup on New Mexicans and allows the cost of oil production to be artificially low. (We really appreciate the State Land Office’s recent move to stop allowing fresh water from state lands to be used by the oil and gas industry). 

  • Produced Water Act Amendments—Any use of produced water on roads, farmlands, or any location outsideof the oil field should be strictly prohibited. Spills and leaks should be illegal. The costs of toxic, radioactive waste should have to be internalized by the industry. Radioactive waste should be considered toxic waste with the same protections against contamination. 

  • The Green Amendment will also help our communities hold polluters accountable, even when our state fails to. 
     

3) Policies that promote renewable energy
 

  • Community solar to increase solar access, equity, and generate local economic development

  • Local Choice Energy to end the monopoly utility structure and allow communities to own, control and benefit from renewable energy development
     

4) Policies that expand democracy and justice
 

  • 16Vote initiative to enable our peers to vote on the issues that impact our lives. Especially with climate change, we are going to be inheriting the consequences of all of the decisions made right now. We need to be at the table. 

  • We are adding our support to a number of efforts led by our social justice partners—like addressing excessive force and qualified immunity, the Health Security Act, a living wage, paid sick leave, reproductive justice etc.


Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham was recently quoted as saying, “We are dead-set against allowing climate change to bring about the next public health crisis.” We plan to hold her and the 2021 New Mexico Legislature to that promise.