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YUCCA Demanded Bold Action from our NM State Legislature during the 2021 Legislative Session. Senate Judiciary & Senate Rules Committees stalled and killed so many good bills this session. We had 1 big win in Community Solar finally being passed! Although it made it through with some amendments we did not want, we are pleased that Community Solar can FINALLY become a reality in New Mexico.
Onward to keep our elected officials accountable!


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. 

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