Wed February 9, 2011
State Senate gets testy (again) over new greenhouse gas regs
By Jim Williams
Santa Fe, NM – Some state lawmakers are still trying to find a way to overturn greenhouse gas cap regulations put in place by the Environmental Improvement Board, or EIB, last year. The debate came to the Senate floor Wednesday after a bill to repeal most of those regulations was introduced in that chamber.
The measure is nearly identical to one that just died in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Democratic Senator David Ulibarri of Grants objected after his bill was assigned to the same committee. ]
The debate that followed centered around whether the EIB had fully considered all public input at meetings held around the state on the proposed regulations. Senator Tim Jennings, a Democrat from Roswell, said most EIB members didn't attend hearings held in his part of the state, and didn't request transcripts of the meetings.
"When we won't even listen to the very people," Jennings said, "when we say go have a public hearing and tell us what you think why you think it', and then never to listen to that, I feel that is very wrong."
But echoing words of Governor Susana Martinez, Albuquerque Democratic Senator Cisco McSorley responded that the new greenhouse gas rules were supposed to be based on "sound science".
"And if there are true independent scientists, not paid by the special interests, who believe that this isn't sound science," McSorley said, "that's a legitimate, legitimate concern. And maybe many of the 400 people there had legitimate concerns. Did their legitimate concerns add up to sound science? I don't know that."
Governor Martinez has said she wants all new regulations re-evaluated, and earlier this year, issued a 90-day suspension of all new regulations. The state Supreme Court overturned that suspension two weeks ago.