Peter Sanchez ad

Marty Esquivel ad

« Tonight's DFA-DFNM Meetup: DPNM Chairman Javier Gonzales, Citizen Lobbying, More | Main |

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

NMELC Sues Gov. Susana Martinez for Halting Publication of Greenhouse Gas Cap Regulation

Since being sworn in as New Mexico's governor on January 1, Republican Susana Martinez has been waging a furious attack on the state's environmental regulations and the environment itself -- and in some cases she's been doing it without regard to the law. For some background and an excellent summary of what the Martinez administration has been up to regarding the environment during its first days in office, read this post at Clearly New Mexico.

It's not a pretty picture unless you're into allowing New Mexico's air, water and land to be polluted with abandon, overturning significant environmental and renewable energy progress, screwing up efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas-caused climate change, canning the entire EIB and putting the foxes in charge of the henhouse. But some help is on the way, at least in terms of one aspect of the problem.

The New Mexico Environmental Law Center (NMELC) addressed one of Martinez's egregious actions by filing suit today in New Mexico Supreme Court against the State Governor, >Susana Martinez, the Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department and the New Mexico State Records Administrator, in response to the move to halt printing of the adopted greenhouse gas cap regulation in the State Register. According to NMELC, papers were served on the above offices this afternoon. (Get filed petition in PDF form.)

NMELC petitioned the court on behalf of its client, New Energy Economy, for a writ of mandamus to compel the Governor and NMED Secretary, F. David Martin, to comply with existing law, and to compel Sandra Jaramillo of the State Records Center to codify and publish the greenhouse gas regulation in the State Register.

Upholding the Rule of Law
“The Governor and her staff cannot disregard the law,” said Bruce Frederick, NMELC Staff Attorney, in a statement released today. “When the Board adopts a rule and files it with the State Records Center, the law requires the rule to be published in the State Register. That’s how regulations become enforceable law. The Governor cannot circumvent the law or expand her powers by executive order.” The Executive Order was put into effect immediately after the Governor’s swearing in on January 1st, 2011. It imposes a ninety day hold on all “proposed or pending” rules, but the greenhouse cap rule is “not a proposed or pending rule,” says Frederick. “It is a final rule.”

The petition filed in the Supreme Court today argues that neither the Governor nor the Environment Department has any authority to adopt, repeal or amend rules, and that the Governor and the Secretary have unconstitutionally usurped legislative power and interfered with the appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals, according to NMELC.

Public Process Required
“There is an established public process when proposing a new regulation, or when removing an old regulation, that allows for fair and careful scrutiny of data, and representation of many points of view,” said Frederick. “The Governor is attempting to eliminate this open and public process.”

Petition Requests
The petition requests an order compelling Ms. Jaramillo to codify and publish the rule in the State Register in accordance with law, an order compelling Secretary Martin to rescind the purported cancellation of the filing of the rule, and an order compelling the Governor and Secretary to refrain from further interfering with the lawful process by which rules are filed. “We are trying to uphold the rule of law,” said Frederick, “and to ensure that the new Governor and her staff follow it.”

January 11, 2011 at 06:10 PM in Climate, Energy, Environment, Legal Issues, Regulation, Susana Martinez | Permalink


Post a comment