Pollution from oil and natural gas and the resulting climate change are standing in the way of a resilient climate and healthy environment for many New Mexicans. Here are ways New Mexico is and should continue to reduce these impacts:
In January 2019, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued Executive Order 2019-003 on Climate Change and Waste Prevention, which created the state Interagency Climate Change Task Force and included directives for agencies to incorporate climate mitigation and adaptation practices into their policies and operations.
The Status of Tribes and Climate Change Report from the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals discusses the impacts and solutions for a variety of issue areas, such as ecosystems and biodiversity, air, water, health and wellbeing, and economic development, and offers recommendations and resources for tribes.
The New Mexico Interagency Climate Change Task Force reports annually on progress made to address climate change under Governor Lujan Grisham’s third executive order.
Colorado College annually polls registered voters in eight western states to explore bi-partisan opinions about conservation, public lands, energy, water, wildlife, wildfire, and other pressing challenges in the Mountain West.
New Mexico’s Energy Transition Act aims to double renewable energy use in the state by 2025, and requires 50% renewable energy by 2030 and 100 percent carbon-free electricity generation by 2045. To achieve these targets, attention to the workforce will be crucial. Read more in the New Mexico Clean Energy Workforce Development Study.
In 2021 and 2022, New Mexico passed nation-leading rules to reduce methane and other air pollution from oil and gas development.
Wildlife plays a critical role in social and spiritual life for many cultures in New Mexico and preserves the integrity of the ecosystems that provide people with food, water, and protection from natural disasters. Gov. Lujan Grisham signed the Wildlife Corridors Act in the summer of 2019 which directed two state agencies to identify areas around the state where wildlife crossing highways poses a risk to motorists.
In the last decade, budgets for state agencies charged with protecting New Mexicans’ health and wellbeing have been cut 15-30%, threatening their ability to do their job.
Subsidies to fossil fuels support an industry that drives negative public health impacts, local environmental pollution from fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure, and climate change impacts and costs. Learn more in Oil Change International’s report.