On Wednesday, New Mexico’s newly elected Governor Susana Martinez, a climate change skeptic, suffered a major defeat. After suspending global warming regulations on her first day in office, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled against the Governor, requiring the state to regulate global warming emissions and to implement a carbon reduction program.
Highlighting years of climate action during his administration, and following two years of deliberation, members of former Governor Bill Richardson’s (D-NM) Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) voted 4-3 in November to mandate global warming emissions reductions from large stationary sources (3% per year from 2010 levels, starting in 2013); and to approve a state cap and trade system.
Riding the Republican climate skeptic wave to power in the fall elections, however, Martinez wasted little time undoing her predecessor’s progress. She issued Executive Order 2011-001 on January 1st in an effort to halt proposed and pending science-based rules and regulations (including the EIB’s decision) for a period of 90 days. The new governor had no scientific reasoning for her position, however, it was purely based on ideological opposition to climate action.