Saturday, March 17, 2012

EIB repeals greenhouse gas rule in New Mexico

A little more than a month after repealing New Mexico’s cap and trade program, the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) on Friday (March 16) repealed the second of two climate regulations passed in the final weeks of the administration of former Gov. Bill Richardson – this one calling for a limit on greenhouse gas emissions. “We examined the rule thoroughly,” EIB chairwoman Deborah Peacock told reporters moments after the board voted 5-0 to repeal what’s commonly called Rule 100, that mandated that generating facilities in the state could not emit more than 25,000 metric tons of CO2. “I think we had the benefit of information that the previous board didn’t have in order to repeal it.” Members of the board listed a number of reasons for repealing the regulation, ranging from questions about whether it would have any effect on improving air quality to the economic burdens the rule might have on industries to what the board called its vague language to whether the regulation has been superseded by federal action by the Environmental Protection Agency that went into effect in January of 2011. It didn’t take long for environmentalists to blast the decision. “Polluters have spent so much money tying this carbon reduction rule in legal knots,” said Mariel Nanasi, the executive director of New Energy Economy. “And they finally succeeded in orchestrating a sham process that has them profiting at the expense of New Mexican families and businesses.” The original rule was adopted by a board appointed by Gov. Richardson and critics called it stacked with environmentalists determined to institute sweeping regulations...more

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