Former State Representative Stephen Easley (D)
- Lifetime Score:
- 2013 - 2014 Score:
- District #:
- Legislative Link:
- View on nmlegis.gov »
Information listed reflects last term served
2013: CVNM was saddened by the passing of Rep. Easley. In 2013, he championed a number of priority bills. He boasted a perfect 100%. Rep. Easley's passion and dedication will be deeply missed.
- = Pro Conservation Vote
- = Anti Conservation Vote
- A = Absent
- E = Excused
- R = Recused
- W = Abstain
- Air Quality
- Energy &
- Wildlife & Habitat
Recover Damages For Natural Resource Injuries more
Summary: HB 259 was crafted around the “polluter pays” principle, which holds that no one should be able to damage or destroy public resources without making compensation. This measure would have allowed the state Natural Resources Trustee to pursue, within strict limits, an entity that damages resources held in trust for all New Mexicans. It maintained all current options for the state through federal law (e.g. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act or CERCLA), and prohibits double penalties.
Outcome: HB 259 died in the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Renewable Energy Procurement Limits more
Summary: The Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) prompts utilities to diversify their energy production by investing in renewable energy sources like wind and solar, and holds them accountable to meet modest thresholds. The RPS includes a provision called “reasonable cost threshold,” which ensures that customers’ bills won’t change dramatically as a result of utilities complying with the standard. HB 266 inserted an additional, unnecessary and exceedingly complex cost consideration—attempting to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. Long-term, of course, all New Mexican consumers will benefit from the RPS: saving money from the avoided costs of new power plant construction, as well as the reduced health care costs resulting from cleaner air and water.
Outcome: HB 266 died in the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Oil & Gas Financial Assurance more
Summary: Much has changed since 1935, when the Oil and Gas Act was enacted. The Act is desperately in need of modernization to reflect current realities—particularly the need to adequately enforce the oil and gas industry’s responsibility to protect crucial and declining water supplies. HB 286 would have brought New Mexico’s fines and penalties in line with surrounding states like Texas and Arizona. The legislation also corrected glaring inconsistencies between the Oil and Gas Act and other state environmental statutes, ensuring equal treatment of similar activities under state law.
Outcome: HB 286 died on the House floor (32-36).
Public-Private Partnerships Act more
Summary: Similar to SB 273, but far more sweeping in the types of public projects and resources that could be privatized (e.g. dams, reservoirs, water treatment plants, utility infrastructure, etc.); HB 405 would have facilitated private control of projects that are most appropriately operated by responsive public entities. Experiences by other governments in privatizing public services (e.g. transportation, education, public safety) have rarely been successful, usually resulting in higher costs, lower quality and expensive legal battles in the long-term.
Outcome: HB 405 passed the House (50-19) and died in the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee.
Environmental Private Right Of Action more
Summary: HB 429 afforded landowners or other affected parties a private right of action to pursue enforcement of environmental laws against violators or agencies who are failing to enforce existing law. An example might be the case of a rural landowner whose groundwater is at risk of contamination by a polluting company; if the state refuses to require the company to stop polluting groundwater, the landowner would have recourse in court.
Outcome: HB 429 died on the House floor (30-36).
Consolidated Environmental Review Act more
Summary: By establishing a consolidated environmental review process for public-permitted or funded projects, HB 458 aimed to streamline environmental permitting, reduce costly litigation and protect public and environmental health.
Outcome: HB 458 died in the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Change Board & Commission Sunset Dates more
Summary: SB 163 extends seven board and commission expiration or “sunset” dates, including the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC). The WQCC is set to sunset on July 1, 2013. The WQCC is the only entity in New Mexico authorized to enact rules pursuant to the federal Clean Water Act or to set water quality standards. The Commission also approves variances for water quality regulations and hears appeals of water pollution permits.
Outcome: After a long and complicated fight in both chambers, efforts to sunset the WQCC in 2013 failed. If signed by the Governor, the WQCC’s expiration or “sunset” will be extended to 2019. SB 163 passed the Senate (42-0) and passed the House (63-4) and was signed by the Governor on April 4, 2013.
Designation Of Benefit Corporations more
Summary: HB 40 is a common-sense measure that allows corporations to voluntarily designate themselves as “benefit corporations”, which gives them greater latitude of purpose than simple profit maximization. Benefit corporations can include social and environmental benefits in their purposes, and HB 40 specifies certain responsibilities for reporting and accountability. Protections in the bill ensure that individual shareholders can opt out at the time of designation and receive payment for their shares, and the bill also limits liability if the corporation fails to achieve its stated social or environmental purposes
Outcome: HB 40 passed the House (62-3) and passed the Senate (33-6) but was pocket vetoed by the Governor.
Preserve Prairie Chicken To Oppose Listing more
Summary: The federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides key protections for vulnerable, threatened, and endangered species, like the lesser prairie chicken. The Act also provides states with funding to assist with endangered species program implementation. While the goal of protecting the lesser prairie chicken without federal intervention is laudable, the language resolving opposition to federal listing of the species raises concerns. If the lesser prairie chicken is sufficiently protected through private and local actions, then the issue of federal listing becomes moot: no listing will be necessary. However, security of the species must be demonstrated first. Opposing federal listing before the species has adequate populations, habitat and protections to ensure long-term viability is woefully premature. Moreover, should resources be necessary to support regional and local protection efforts, that funding may best be secured through ESA listing.
Outcome: HM 21 passed the House (39-28). Memorials and resolutions do not require action by the Governor.
Adequate Subdivision Water Supplies more
Summary: SB 479 protects our limited water supplies from “double dipping”. Currently, large landowners and developers can sever water rights from a property and sell them off at high market values, while constructing major subdivisions that rely entirely on domestic wells for their water supplies. Because domestic wells don’t require a water right, it’s a legal ‘loophole’ that enables double-dipping.
Outcome: SB 479 passed the Senate (35-4) and passed the House (55-13) and was signed by the Governor on April 4, 2013.
Subdivision Water Permits more
Summary: SB 480 strengthens State Engineer evaluation of water availability for new subdivisions by reducing the assessment threshold from 20 parcels or more to 10 parcels or more, where any one of these parcels is less than 2 acres in size. At the same time, the bill makes subdivision water permits from the State Engineer mandatory, and prevents the State Engineer from basing a permit on water supply from domestic wells, which cumulatively may impair senior water rights holders.
Outcome: SB 480 passed the Senate (30-10) and passed the House (41-25) and was signed the Governor on April 5, 2013.