New Mexico Governor: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed her Climate Executive Order only days after taking office, committing New Mexico to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions 45% by 2030 over 2005 levels. With Trump in office, state action on the Paris Climate Accord would prove to be key during those four lost years. Surrounded by kids and climate advocates, she articulated a plan for state action that has largely been achieved today under her leadership.
The Energy Transition Act passed that same year and resulted in 100% renewable and battery replacement power for the expensive, polluting coal power slated to from the scheduled-to-retire San Juan plant. The Governor built into that legislation savings for customers, transition funding for impacted workers and communities, a preference for replacement energy siting in the San Juan County Area and labor requirements for all new power facilities built in New Mexico.
The Governor’s administration updated energy efficiency building codes, passed clean car standards, and now is defending nation-leading methane and smog standards that hold oil and gas operators accountable for their operations and set a strong floor for federal rules coming from the EPA and BLM. The Governor also signed legislation creating the Sustainable Economy Taskforce, which has described 9 sectors that will help our state move off dependance on the boom and bust oil and gas economy.
In 2021 the Governor signed her 30×30 executive order, which commits the state to conserving 30% of lands and waters by 2030. The Governor and her agency staff have deeply engaged the public in this concept and have used public surveys and town halls to craft a conservation plan. The creation of the Outdoor Recreation Department ensures that all New Mexicans can access their public lands. The Governor has also spoken out against the proposed storage of high level nuclear waste in the state proposed by Holtec.
The Governor, while championing the protection of our environment, has been a steady hand in weathering the storms our state has faced. Gov. Lujan Grisham came to office in 2019 faced with 8 years of purposeful atrophy of government agencies. Environment agencies found themselves steeply underfunded and with 40-50% vacancy rates. Under her leadership, we’ve seen agencies recover, with more to be done.
In the face of Covid, the Governor protected our families early and with science as her foundations. This summer’s fires and floods have required further emergency management like nothing our state has seen before. And all the while, the Governor has led on protecting women’s bodily autonomy, our kids’ access to education, and workers’ access to sick days and pay raises.
New Mexico Secretary of State: Maggie Toulouse Oliver
Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver is, quite simply, the best. At a time when voters in states around the country have to contend with corrupt election officials who try to restrict voting and who refuse to recognize valid election outcomes, we have Maggie.
Maggie is a rock. She is incorruptible and committed to making sure that voting is both reliable and easy. She has an unparalleled record of action to ensure that every qualified voter who wants to vote can vote and that every vote is accurately counted.
Secretary Toulouse Oliver formed the Native American Voting Task Force to identify voter accessibility issues in our Native American and Tribal communities and create solutions. She implemented Same Day Registration that allowed independent voters to vote in primary elections. She implemented the use of monitored, secure ballot drop-boxes, so voters can drop off their absentee ballots at their convenience. She strengthened the rules to require the disclosure of donors to dark money PACs and made our campaign finance reporting system more accessible, so everyone can see who is funding campaigns.
New Mexico Land Commissioner: Stephanie Garcia Richard
In her first term, Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard has truly prioritized our children, climate and natural world while breaking revenue records in her outstanding stewardship of our state trust lands.
Garcia Richard tripled Land Office renewable-energy leases, reducing reliance on oil and gas revenue. She halted the use of freshwater for oil and gas drilling on state trust lands and placed a four-year moratorium on new oil, gas and mineral leasing on state lands in Greater Chaco.
Garcia Richard also initiated a study on the inadequacy of New Mexico’s bonding requirements, revealing that it would cost the state $8 billion more than it has received in bonding from oil and gas operators to clean up all abandoned oil and gas wells. The study provides a basis to seek stricter oil and gas bonding requirements. Another Land Office study found that industry-funded remediation would create 65,000 jobs and $4 billion in wages.
Garcia Richard has helped lead the fight to prevent the proposed Holtec storage site for high-level radioactive waste. She also created a Cultural Resources Office to create a rule to require cultural and archeological surveys to avoid desecration of irreplaceable cultural properties.
New Mexico Attorney General: Raúl Torrez
Raúl Torrez’s priority for the Attorney General’s office is to be a voice for the voiceless. He states that he will prioritize actions on behalf of communities that don’t have the resources to fight back. He wants to elevate the civil litigation side of the Attorney General’s office in order to be able to, for instance, represent communities harmed by the health impacts of extractive industries.
As District Attorney, Torrez brought in an outside group to to see if there were disparities based on race, sexual orientation, and national origin and was in negotiations with Stanford to investigate whether there was any implicit bias in charging decisions, plea offers, and the like. He wants to bring the same equity lens to the Attorney General’s office.
Torrez is particularly concerned about issues of clean air and clean water. He recognizes the problem of pollution from uncapped legacy oil and gas wells and wants to track down and hold liable those responsible. He pledges that in fulfilling his statutory duty to represent the citizens of the state before the Public Regulation Commission, he will advocate for reductions in carbon emissions.
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