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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Environmental Alliance of NM Announces 2008 Legislative Agenda

Javier Benavidez of Conservation Voters New Mexico
speaks at press conference at Rio Grande bosque

From Conservation Voters New Mexico:
Representatives of over a dozen environmental organizations convened a news conference on Friday afternoon, January 11, 2008, in Albuquerque to announce a 2008 legislative package aimed at addressing the State of New Mexico’s environment, energy, water, and outdoor education policy. The Environmental Alliance of New Mexico, an informal coalition of environmental organizations facilitated by Conservation Voters New Mexico, announced four priority legislative measures. Though this year’s legislative session will be a short, 30-day session focusing on state budget matters, each of the alliance’s priority bills will be on the legislative agenda because they are germane to state budgeting or because they are anticipated to be on the “Governor’s call.” The bills include:

• the “Leave No Child Inside Act,” a bill seeking to generate revenue for an outdoor educational programming fund through a 1% excise tax (a “sin” tax) on the purchase of new televisions and video games

• the “Ratepayer Protection Act,” a bill requiring regulated electric utilities to meet 10% of their energy demand with energy efficiency by 2020 instead of building new power plants (which are more expensive than efficiency). The bill will also encourage the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission to allow energy efficiency programs to be as profitable to New Mexico utilities as power plants are.

• a “Smart Investments in Public Buildings” policy to ensure a 50% energy saving throughout the life of new and retrofitted public buildings through a 1-2% initial investment in the “sustainable” or “green” design of each public building

• a one-time funding request of $10 million for Statewide Ecosystem Restoration that will facilitate efforts to restore New Mexico’s fragile and iconic river ecosystems, including funding for water flows, technical studies and community outreach.

Gail Ryba, NMCCAE

"This alliance represents over 30,000 New Mexican voters who care about protecting our air, land, water, wildlife and communities,” said Sandy Buffett, Executive Director of Conservation Voters New Mexico and the Conservation Voters of New Mexico Education Fund.

The four priority bills of the Environmental Alliance of New Mexico (click for Fact Sheet) are the result of an annual “common agenda” process in which environmental organizations come together to develop a cohesive environmental policy agenda for consideration by the annual state legislative session. In addition to the measures mentioned above, Conservation Voters New Mexico will be monitoring any potential “environmental rollbacks” of policy gains made in previous years and will work to defend against such regressive measures.

Organizations involved in the Environmental Alliance of New Mexico include: 1000 Friends of New Mexico, Animal Protection Voters, Amigos Bravos, Audubon New Mexico, Conservation Voters New Mexico, Defenders of Wildlife, Dooda Desert Rock, Environment New Mexico, New Mexico Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy, New Mexico Environmental Law Center, New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, New Mexico Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, The Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, and the World Wildlife Fund.

For more information, please contact Sandy Buffett, Executive Director of Conservation Voters New Mexico, at 270-5743.

Click for contact information for your legislators.

January 13, 2008 at 12:13 PM in Energy, Environment, NM Legislature 2008 | Permalink


Great work, CVNM!!!

Posted by: | Jan 13, 2008 7:30:58 PM

I hope that Javier for Land Commissioner 2010!

Posted by: | Jan 14, 2008 10:23:59 AM

Thanks for covering this and telling us about it so well! Was it picked up by any actual press or broadcast media? Maybe Friday afternoon isn't a good time to have press conferences!

Posted by: Michelle Meaders | Jan 14, 2008 8:43:32 PM

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