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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NM Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case for Intervention in Industry Appeal of Carbon Cap Rule

Progress: Today, the New Mexico State Supreme Court agreed to hear a case filed by the New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC) on behalf of its client, New Energy Economy (NEE). The NMELC filed an emergency petition asking the Supreme Court to review a Court of Appeals’ ruling that barred NEE from participating in an appeal filed by PNM.

In its appeal, PNM, the state’s largest source of carbon pollution, is asking the Court of Appeals to invalidate New Mexico’s carbon pollution reduction law, which was adopted by the Environment Improvement Board (EIB) in December of 2010. NEE and NMELC led a two-year public process that resulted in the creation of New Mexico’s landmark carbon cap law.

"It is essential that NEE be allowed to participate in the appeal," says Bruce Frederick, NMELC Staff Attorney. Frederick explains that both PNM and the new members of the EIB, all appointed by Governor Martinez, oppose the rule. “So neither party in the appeal has any interest in defending the rule,” he says. “We will defend the rule because we provided the hundreds of hours of scientific and economic expert testimony” that persuaded EIB to adopt the rule. “It would be a great injustice if our client was now barred from explaining this testimony to the court on appeal.”

“Since PNM is opposed to the carbon reduction law and Governor Martinez’s EIB is as well, it’s only fair that we be given an opportunity to defend the carbon pollution reduction rule,” says Mariel Nanasi, Executive Director of New Energy Economy.

The rule requires facilities that emit more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon pollution per year to reduce these emissions by 3 percent per year from 2010 levels starting in 2013. The law has been lauded by national experts for its capacity to improve New Mexico’s energy security by means of predictability, market-based mechanisms and extensive compliance flexibility. 

The Supreme Court has ordered that responses to this petition be filed with the court on or before July 11, 2011. (Click for order (pdf).

June 29, 2011 at 02:55 PM in Climate, Energy, Environment, Legal Issues, Regulation | Permalink