Welcome to CVNM’s 2022 Legislative Scorecard! The Conservation Scorecard is our primary tool to hold legislators accountable for the votes they cast. Please use this Scorecard as a tool to push your legislators to continue to reflect your values in their votes. We know that when legislators vote with their constituents’ conservation values, New Mexico communities win.
Our hearts continue to go out to all the people and communities devastated by the deep drought and fires raging across the state. This is and will continue to be catastrophic and devastating for families, communities, wildlife, and water resources for years to come.
The 2022 30-day session was disappointing, not just at the time but even more so considering the early and massive wildfire season that started just two months later. The urgency to move quickly and boldly to address the climate crisis was great then, and is even greater now.
Admittedly, a short session is not the place to deliberate big, complicated bills. We were aware that HB 6 (Clean Future Act) – the bill crafted to create the framework for a zero-emission economy – required a tremendous effort from the administration, key legislators, environmental organizations, and communities across the state who will feel the impacts the most. However, not only did we witness a major climate bill fail, but also the last minute defeat of legislation to expand and protect voting rights and a persistent effort at the end of the session to pass legislation supporting development of problematic hydrogen energy.
With significant surpluses in both state and federal dollars, New Mexico had the opportunity to make a real investment in our climate future and the Governor proposed operating budgets for the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and the Energy Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) that would have allowed both agencies to meaningfully invest in the planning, rulemaking, and enforcement measures necessary to begin tackling the state’s climate emissions. The legislature approved only a fraction of proposed agency funding. Still, money set aside for State Parks, outdoor recreation, and some public land acquisitions from allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds in the December 2021 special session and the 2022 short session budget indicates continued commitment to the state’s 30×30 plan.
We also had a positive outcome on two priority bills. HB 37, Community Energy Efficiency Development (CEED) Block Grant, creates a new state grant program to support improving energy efficiency of low-income households and supports the goal of achieving 100% energy affordability for all New Mexico residents while helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. HB 164, Uranium Mine Cleanup, begins to address an inexcusable tragedy caused by former uranium mine and mill sites that continue to expose rural and Indigenous communities to toxic and radioactive pollution, which has spiked cancer rates and health issues in former mining communities. HB 164 calls for a strategic plan to address legacy uranium waste sites and establishes a revolving fund to resource the critical work that community advocates have urged action on for decades.
It’s time to confront the heartbreaking truth: we are in a climate emergency. Our commitment to passing bold climate legislation has not wavered, but we will need your support and commitment to ensure that our elected leaders will take bold climate action to protect our communities, families, and economies and build a future in which our children and future generations can thrive.
Thank you for being a Conservation Voter,
CVNM Executive Director