KUNM Local
5:55 pm
Mon March 1, 2010

Public hearing on state cap and trade proposal is today

Albuquerque, NM – The Sierra Club, New Energy Economy and more than a dozen other groups in New Mexico are asking for a science-based cap on greenhouse gases produced in the state.

Proponents see it as a critical move toward environmental preservation of the Southwest and an economic engine to create new green jobs.

Opponents of the cap worry about the cost of compliance and the economic impacts it could have on industry. Critics of the cap also charge it could lead to higher electricity and energy costs for consumers.

Mariel Nanasi with New Energy Economy says most households should barely even notice.

NANASI: "Our economists are estimating that it will cost about 50 cents a month. There's been some polling that's done that people say, for a minimal increase like that, they would prefer to address carbon pollution."

One of the most specific proposals from New Energy Economy asks for a reduction in statewide greenhouse gas emissions from sources like power plants, factories and universities to 25 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2020.

The public hearing is Monday morning at 10:00 AM at the Willie Ortiz building on Cerrillos Road in Santa Fe.