« Attorney General Gary King Issues Opinion Supporting Recognition of Out-of-State Same-Sex Marriages | Main | ACLU New Mexico Weighs In On AG King's Opinion Supporting Recognition of Out-Of-State Same-Sex Marriages »

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

(Updated) Susana Martinez Cans All Members of NM Environmental Improvement Board

Update: We're already starting to get negative coverage from major news sources on Martinez's attack on environmental regulations and the environment itself. See this LA Times article.
According to an AP report, Susana Martinez, New Mexico's new right-wing, anti-environmental regulation governor, late today informed the entire membership of the state's Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) that they have been terminated, effective immediately. Her reason? The EIB recently approved cap and trade regulations for greenhouse gases emitted by certain power plans and other large polluters in the state. In a statement, Martinez said:

New Mexico has suffered from anti-business policies and that the EIB made it clear it was more interested in advancing political ideology than implementing commonsense policies.

I guess Martinez is more interested in protecting large polluters than in improving the quality of New Mexico's air for its citizens or in mitigating the conditions that are producing climate change.

Martinez has had her eye on crushing the greenhouse gas regulations ever since they were passed. Back in mid-November she told Business Weekly that she would immediately act to roll back the regulations once she’s sworn in:

“I will appoint new members to the EIB, and as governor, I will have executive authority to issue a moratorium,” Martinez said. “I want to move on that within days of taking office.”

At that time, EIB Chair Gay Dillingham raised a question as to whether the new governor would have the authority to decree a moratorium:

It’s a legal question that needs to be answered, but I would think that when something is law, you can’t just do something so simple as declaring a moratorium.

According to the EIB website, the board's membership up until today's dismissals was as follows:

  • Gay Dillingham, Chair, Santa Fe
  • Abbas Ghassemi, Las Cruces
  • Gregory Green, Santa Fe
  • James Gollin, Santa Fe
  • John Horning, Santa Fe
  • Frank Simms, Santa Fe
  • Leland Gould , Albuquerque

Stephen Vigil of Santa Fe served as Counsel to the EIB. I'm unaware whether he was canned today or not. According to the website, the make up of the EIB is as follows:

The Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) consists of seven members appointed by the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the State Senate. The members of the board are appointed for overlapping terms, with no term exceeding five years. No more than four members are appointed from any one political party. At least a majority of the membership of the board are individuals who represent the public interest and do not derive any significant portion of their income from persons subject to or who appear before the board on issues related to the federal Clean Air Act or the Air Quality Control Act [74-2-1 NMSA 1978]. Any vacancy occurring in the membership of the board will be filled by appointment by the governor for the unexpired term.

January 4, 2011 at 08:02 PM in Climate, Energy, Environment, Legal Issues, Susana Martinez | Permalink


Wow. I'm not really getting what's so "anti-business" about green jobs development, promoting clean, renewable energy, saving natural resources and protecting the environmental health of our ecosystems and communities from excessive greenhouse gas emissions.

Posted by: Carrie | Jan 4, 2011 8:29:51 PM

This is pure ideology. The Republicans, under Bush and then Perry as Governor of Texas, have been very concerned that environmentalism is somehow socialism. They are very anti-science.

This is an indication that Martinez doesn't have much real knowledge and is going by the ideological right's wishlist.

There is a lot more where this came from, considering the funding from Houston that showed up in this election.

Posted by: Stuart Heady | Jan 4, 2011 9:00:06 PM

Only the beginning of the bad stuff. Those Texans didn't spend all that money for nothing.

Posted by: Sean | Jan 4, 2011 9:25:13 PM

These republicans have no respect for other opinions. With them, it's "my way or the highway." Susana is just another bad example for the rest of us to look at and say "this is what not to do."

Posted by: AllThingsConsidered | Jan 5, 2011 7:08:39 AM

@sean: What you said. Pay to play.

Posted by: bg | Jan 5, 2011 8:13:24 AM

I am sorry to say this, ok i am not sorry to say this Susana is an effing Bitch. Maybe she could give her heart,if she has one to Cheny that effer.

Posted by: Stephanie DuBois | Jan 5, 2011 8:47:58 AM

There are Democratic Party consultants and political activists who have been dealing with this for some 30 years in Texas. What I feel should be an urgent priority is some reaching out to those people in order to gain some useful insight, preferably before the next election. It is best to know exactly what one is dealing with.

I wonder if the Denish team would not have been better served by going with a consulting team from Texas rather than Maryland or wherever they were from. There does not appear to be a large enough economy of scale to support full time professional consultancy on the level is has developed elsewhere, so whatever wisdom can be obtained should be sought.

There are names that people have heard of, such as Jim Hightower, and there are names that are obscure except to people who run campaigns, such as Dean Rindy.

Posted by: Stuart Heady | Jan 5, 2011 9:14:46 AM

Stuart has some good ideas. The Denish campaign was caught flat footed here by the assault from Texas and DC including Karl Rove and Jeb Bush. Money and help from out of state also helped the Republicans win House seats with ease. I don't see any lessons learned being adopted by the Democrats now as Martinez and her pals take over the government. What is the plan for fighting against these forces during the legislative session coming soon? Will Democrats be caught flat footed again?

Posted by: Observer | Jan 5, 2011 11:02:34 AM

Common sense and Governor Martinez in the same sentence is the biggest oxy moron yet!

Posted by: Commonsense | Jan 5, 2011 11:42:42 AM

Good job, Susana.

Posted by: Ramon | Jan 5, 2011 1:08:36 PM

I see that "Ramon" logged in on a computer at PNM according to data from his comment. I'm sure PNM loves this action on Martinez's part because they want to continue polluting our air, keeping most of the money paid them using trick accounting and letting their power plants belch poisons into the air that will cause catastrophic climate change. I wonder what kind of world "Ramon" thinks his children and grandchildren will inherit given his greed and stupidity.

Posted by: barb | Jan 5, 2011 1:43:25 PM

To be clear I am not a voice for PNM. I also don't disagree that we as a community need to do what we can for our and other future.

I do disagree that a group of 7 people are legislating an entire program against an entire industry. This IMHO, is for our legislators and public to have input on as well as those in the industry of providing energy to our citizens, be it electricity, oil or nat gas.

Thanks for using your admin privileges for point out where I work. That is quite admirable by you as well as calling people greedy and stupid.

Posted by: Ramon | Jan 5, 2011 1:51:19 PM

Sorry "Ramon." When people sign in pretending to be a member of the general public when they are in actuality writing from an entity that has long opposed progress on greenhouse gases and pollution and does everything in its power to protect its investors and executives from having to do what's right for our state and our nation, I think people who read their comments should know that.

I still don't know what position you hold at PNM or what your real name is, but if you'd like to clear up the situation, please reveal your true identity.

I'm sure you and others like you would prefer to depend on legislation because you know too many of the legislators are bought off to do what's right. The EIB has equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats by law. Its responsibilities include "(4) air quality management as provided in the state Air Quality Control Act [§§ 74-2-1 to 74-2-22 NMSA 1978]." They were doing their job based on solid science and data and were punished by a vindictive and damaging action by our new governor.

This is not something to applaud. It's embarrassing for our state and shows that Martinez cares more about protecting her big donors than she does about the people of New Mexico and their futures.

Posted by: barb | Jan 5, 2011 2:13:08 PM

I am disgusted Martinez's rhetoric - as a long time resident of NM, she does not represent our interests. She will become a laughing stock and will fail as governor. Interesting how she capped any publicity about her affair with Franco when she was married to husband #1 and she was a Democrat; wanted to be the zealot DA and switched parties - she is a Texan and was bought and paid for by rich Texan Republicans who want our water and will destroy us!

Posted by: disgusted with Susana | Jan 5, 2011 7:58:04 PM

Listening to KUNM this morning, I am amazed at the amount of equivocating and backing off of strong statements going on in the discussion regarding NM water. The language is mealy mouthed and apologetic. Now, they are going on about getting into "the conversation". No, they need to get into the sloganeering making the matter plain to even the most stupid voter. That is what the Republicans do and that is why they get away with gutting our environmental regulations. It is time for the left to stop trying to take the intellectual high road. Keep your statements simple, direct and unequivocal. How dare Mimi Stewart denigrate her own expertize on water when an opponent would never hesitate to state outright lies as God's honest truth. The academic speaking on the issue is too wordy and too busy trying to stick to facts and continuously parsing his language making all so clear that we need to THINK this and that. We need to carry repetitious even tedious messages the way the Republicans do. NO THINKING ON BEHALF OF THE AUDIENCE IS REQUIRED. YOU TELL THEM WHAT TO THINK. No one, should be allowed on the media without a propagandist work-up making sure that the representative on the left have down their line ready freddy to spout at every opportunistic cue. Listen to this morning's program on water to see a classic example of messaging massacre. They act like deer in the headlights incredulous that they are so dis-empowered and broke over such a vital issue. Please, rationality and having the truth are inconsequential as the big powerful monied polluters carefully tailor their messages to the most base human emotions of fear, disdain and greed.
For example, the Republican mantra that they speak for "the people", that they are only doing the "people's will" or that "the people have spoken" dis regards any fact to the contrary.
We need to push our issues in the same way regardless whether we are right or have the scientific truth on our side. Being right, having the truth and facts don't mean diddly.

Posted by: qofdisks | Jan 6, 2011 9:13:31 AM


I am standing with a group of Democrats talking over such issues as how to talk about issues. This goes on for a while. Suddenly, a figure is seen running towards us at full tilt. He is in a football uniform and this happens so quickly that we have no reaction as he hits us with full weight and speed.

As we are on the ground, wondering what happened, he dances on us with his cleats and then goes for the touchdown.

I think this came from a sense of the difference between those who want to see politics as a debate with rules of fair play; and those who see the need to win as being ultimate and primary and above all issues.

This comes no doubt from growing up in Texas, where winner-take-all logic from football and from military tactics has become a core part of evangelical Christianity, which has become the core of the Republican political sensibility. One might call it bareknuckle politics.

It has come over the border because there are interests at stake which are important to large scale contributors. It is best to understand what exactly they are. Time will tell, of course. But hopefully, the Democratic Party in New Mexico will learn from this and not repeat the same mistakes the Party made in Texas that lost a blue state to Republican control for the past 25 years.

Posted by: Stuart Heady | Jan 6, 2011 10:22:16 AM

I strongly agree with the two comments above. The right wingers have a well tested, strategic and effective plan of communication that uses propaganda techniques and content. It is organized and people are groomed and trained to carry an effective message and repeat it in simple terms. They fund "news" outlets, blogs, think tanks and speakers to carry that message.

What do the Democrats have? NOTHING. Dems speaking in public are on their own and get no support or coaching. The state party here has zilch in the way of effective communication. Putting press releases on the party blog is not blogging. We get well meaning lawmakers like Mimi Stewart out there acting like mice with no clear message people can understand.

I don't know when or if our side will wake up.

Posted by: Campaigner | Jan 6, 2011 11:04:08 AM

Where do you people think that the money to run this state comes from?? Did you ever hear of taxes on the oil and gas industry? Did you know that Albuquerque and Bernillo counties are exempt from the eib board's regulations?? What parties are the board members from? The dem and the green?

Posted by: diane | Jan 6, 2011 11:37:31 AM

Just because oil and gas pay taxes, like everyone else, doesn't mean that they should be able to pollute the air and land and worsen climate change. They should have to follow the law like everyone else but Martinez believes they should have no rules to follow. We can see where that approach got us at the federal level. No regulations on businesses (or people) means that bad actors go unpunished.

Using your logic we shouldn't make any laws about murder or rape because people who do those crimes pay taxes. Stupid.

The EIB by law has just about equal numbers of Republican and Democratic members.

Posted by: Geo | Jan 6, 2011 12:00:10 PM