Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter statement on President Obama’s Climate Plan and New Mexico

For immediate release: June 25, 2013 Contact: Camilla Feibelman, Rio Grande Chapter director,, 505-715-8388

See attachment for printable PDF file

Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter statement on President Obama’s Climate Plan and New Mexico

Today, President Barack Obama announced his administration's next steps for building a legacy of action to fight the climate crisis.

The plan creates new energy-efficiency standards for federal buildings and appliances, scales up responsible clean-energy production on public lands and uses the authority of the Clean Air Act to cut dangerous carbon pollution from power plants.

Climate disruption is hitting New Mexico hard. As we’ve endured one of the worst droughts of the century and witnessed record-setting wildfires, UNM studies predict that this level of drought will become commonplace and wildfires will get worse unless greenhouse emissions are significantly reduced, so President Obama’s announcement is welcome news.

While the nation moves forward, sadly, Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration is moving backward, systematically undoing the climate protections New Mexico has worked so hard to establish.

As President Obama announces steps to cut energy waste in buildings, a state appeals court has ordered Gov. Martinez’s Construction Industries Commission to start over after the commission revoked New Mexico’s energy-saving building codes without any explanation.

As President Obama moves to cut carbon pollution from coal plants, one of Gov. Martinez’s first acts in office was to fire every member of the Environmental Improvement Board that had developed carbon-reducing rules for the state. Her new board almost immediately started the process of revoking those common-sense rules.

And while New Mexicans struggle to conserve every drop of water, Gov. Martinez’s Oil Conservation Commission this month issued an order to weaken the “Pit Rule” for oil and gas drilling, allowing increased pollution of the groundwater that is becoming more and more precious to New Mexicans.

New Mexicans know we must act swiftly and boldly to preserve our unique quality of life for future generations. That’s why the Martinez administration’s reversals of existing protections are so tragic.

We invite the Martinez administration to move forward with the nation on climate disruption.

Rio Grande Chapter Obama statement 6.25.13.pdf154.9 KB