On Monday, the House of Representatives Committee on Government, Elections, and Indian Affairs Committee rolled over the corrosive anti-energy bill, H.B. 9, to Wednesday morning after much testimony from the public and many questions from the committee. The bill would force extreme carbon emission requirements on all sectors, the second phase of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s “Energy Transition Act,” which set harsh “net-zero” standards by 2050 for the electricity sector.
The bill’s sponsors, Reps. Melanie Stansbury (D-Bernalillo) and Angelica Rubio (D-Doña Ana) introduced the legislation as a desperate measure required to stop “climate change,” which they claimed created “drought, extreme fire, and impacts to agriculture and water supplies,” which are untrue statements not backed up by science.
Here is the Piñon Post assessment of the bill:
According to the fiscal impact report (FIR) on the bill, it “establishes a climate leadership council, deadlines for the state to achieve specific reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE), requirements for state agencies to achieve GHGE reductions, and a number of definitions related to climate, economic development, and socioeconomic equity.”
The FIR also states that the bill “[r]equires New Mexico to reduce statewide GHGE by least 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050” and “[m]andates a 60 percent reduction, relative to 2005 levels, in emissions of methane, carbon dioxide, and volatile organic compounds from the oil and gas sector by 2030.” Note, the “net-zero” emission standard mirrors U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal,” the most radical and costly proposal in U.S. history to decimate the energy industry.
Opponents of the bill included workers in the energy and agriculture industries who keep the lights on and feed communities. Supporters of the bill mostly from the dark money groups CAFé, OLÉ, the Sierra Club, among others who self-identified as “community organizers.” One individual from extremist group OLÉ claimed “climate change” was a “racial justice issue,” saying “Black, indigenous, and people of color” somehow are disproportionately affected by the fictitious issue. The dark money groups also exploited children named “Alex” and “Adrian,” who were given scripts in the supposed attempt to pull heartstrings, claiming pine trees in the state would disappear. “Will there still be pine trees when I grow up?” asked one.
Although the committee chair, Rep. Georgene Louis (D-Bernalillo), claimed to give both sides equal time, proponents of the bill were given more time to testify.
Rep. Greg Nibert (Chaves & Lincoln) asked multiple questions regarding Native American tribes complying with these strict standards, asking if they were required to comply with these mandates. The condescending witness, Noah Long of the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), said that the Navajo Nation was not subject to it.
When asked about how the bill would bring opportunity to the state, Rep. Rubio went on the defensive, saying, “The fact that it’s still being questioned of whether or not it is something that we need to continue, it minimizes the work being done in communities around the state.”
Nibert said, “You said it’s a roadmap to diversify the economy….In case you changed it drastically, I don’t see a roadmap there. I see a statement that says “the state shall create economic inclusion opportunity,” which I believe is high-road employment — and so I don’t see a roadmap, and I don’t see how the state is going to create those jobs.”
“The economy doesn’t create jobs. The people that decide to take risks — They create jobs. The people who decide to produce something — they take a risk…. It’s people who create jobs. It’s not the state. The economy is simply an indication of how well things are going from a standpoint of job-creation and… compensation to employees and standard of living. That’s the economy. I see a lot of words here, but at the end of the day, it’s not your attempt that the state shall create those economic including opportunities. It’s basically you want to set up a framework for which these things are studied, and you hope that people will take risks and see opportunities to use their capital to start a business, expand a business and create additional employment,” Nibert added.
Regarding a question from Nibert about litigation costs of the legislation, Rep. Stansbury claimed that “if consideration of climate change had been included [in Texas], perhaps we may have avoided the shutdown of electricity and water for millions of people” in the state to New Mexico’s east. When Nibert pressed her on her assertion about Texas’ recent crisis with a snowstorm, however, Stansbury retreated, claiming she wanted to comment on “the scope” of her bill.
Nibert commented that during the harsh storm that affected New Mexico with multiple inches of snow. “The lights in Santa Fe were on because the San Juan Generating Plant had not been shut down yet.”
The bill’s final vote in the committee has been rolled over to Wednesday morning’s committee hearing.