Thursday, September 30, 2010
Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Endorses Denish-Colón for New Mexico Governor and Lt. Governor
The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club has announced that it has endorsed Lt. Governor Diane Denish for New Mexico Governor and Brian Colón for New Mexico Lieutenant Governor in the general election. The organization released the following statement about its endorsement:
Lt. Governor Diane Denish believes that protecting our environment is crucial to the health and well being of the state’s citizens, and she has supported environmental protection policies throughout her eight years at Lieutenant Governor, such as support of the Bad Actor Bill, support for the protection of the Otero Mesa, and creation of a Green Mortgage Program to help finance affordable and energy efficient housing.
The contrast between her stand on global warming and that of her opponent could not be greater. Denish believes “there is no question that global warming is occurring.” Susana Martinez, on the other hand, is in denial about the grave threat facing our children: She contradicted every major scientific organization by falsely claiming "there is disagreement in the science community concerning the causes of global warming.” [emphasis added]
The Lt. Governor supports “incentives to encourage more use of energy-efficient technologies in building and manufacturing as well as a commitment to increasing the generation of renewable power. New Mexico has a strong role to play in reducing carbon emissions, by investing in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and in new technologies."
"The urgency of addressing climate change touches many areas of our lives, including transportation, proper weatherization of our homes and how we plan our cities," Denish continued. "New Mexico can create bold incentives to encourage renewable power generation and transmission, green-building retrofits and other programs to attract sustainable high-wage and low-emission industries. The Gulf drilling disaster should be a wake-up call to the Congress that we must develop cleaner energy sources as quickly as we are able to do so – not only for environmental reasons, but also for our nation’s economic security.”
Denish is a strong supporter of programs and incentives that encourage the development and deployment of clean energy such as public building retrofits. She has worked the school superintendents association to get the Energy Smart program started for retrofitting public schools to save both energy and money.
Denish believes we must recommit ourselves to preserving our state's wild places. ”New Mexico has vast and wild spaces that deserve strong protections so they can be enjoyed now and for generations to follow. I am committed to preserving our state's rare gems. One such place is the Gila River flowing through Southwestern New Mexico. It is one of the last wild and un-dammed rivers in the nation and as governor I pledge to keep it that way.”
Reduce, reuse, recycle is a good guide for state policy, she believes. “I would like to see recycling in more municipalities and would welcome assistance in devising state policies to bring this about. I also would like to see the state support recycling through its purchasing policies and to assist schools and universities in also moving to use of recycled materials.”
On green building practices, Denish said, “I support updating building codes to consider more use of energy-efficient technologies while also creating a menu of incentives to encourage builders to use more efficient building techniques and materials over time.”
On the biggest emitters of carbon emissions, Denish opposes construction of Desert Rock and would support conversion of existing coal-fired power plants to run on natural gas.
Denish connects growth and water as few officials do. “New Mexicans demand that water is being used wisely, especially as our population grows and we encounter periods of drought," Denish said. "Too often we have allowed growth to occur without adequate water, then bailed out developers after the fact. Our population and development will continue to grow, but our water supply is constant and limited by natural forces.”
"The agricultural sector needs state and federal support to transition to conservation of agricultural water. Water banks can provide incentives for conservation," Denish continued.
She supports the banning of leg hold traps and other unsportsmanlike hunting and trapping on public lands. And she will continue her support for protection of Otero Mesa.
The Sierra Club is the nation's oldest and largest environmental volunteer organization, established in 1892, and with over 7,500 politically active members in New Mexico, the endorsement of the Rio Grande Chapter is widely sought by candidates for elected positions across the state. As the Chapter finalizes its endorsements for the general election they are posted on its new web site.
Photo by Stephen Jones.