Governor Lujan Grisham has recently continued her attempt to simultaneously keep the oil and gas revenue spigot while embracing enough policies from the radical environmental agenda to appease her political and fundraising base.
His latest plan, known as the Clean Car Rule, has been adopted by his hand-picked Environmental Improvement Board (EIB). Governor-appointed councils are much more willing to do as they are told than unruly and sometimes uncooperative (albeit overwhelmingly Democratic) legislative bodies with their own political calculations and aspirations.
Incredibly, New Mexico’s new Clean Car Rule undermines democracy and self-government (as well as our economy) by placing New Mexico’s auto regulations under the control of another state, California. The current rules are California’s and if California changes them, New Mexico will have to follow them or reverse course and opt out.
New Mexico’s new auto standards will require approximately 7% of new cars sold in the state to be zero-emissions by 2025. In the latest available report (Q3 2021), zero-emission vehicles accounted for only 2.29% new vehicle sales in New Mexico. . So, to comply with the new rule, sales of zero-emission vehicles will need to slightly more than triple from the third quarter of 2021 to 2025.
But the real kick is that by bowing to California’s political whims, New Mexico could soon be forced to adopt even more aggressive “clean car” standards. California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued an executive order that, if passed, would end the sale of gasoline-powered cars in California by 2035. Final passage of the rule could come in California as early as this month. of August.
If California adopts this rule, 35% of new cars, SUVs and small pickups sold in California (and therefore New Mexico) must be zero-emissions starting with 2026 models. This number will increase each year, reaching 51% of all new car sales in 2028, 68% in 2030 and 100% in 2035.
New Mexico’s ‘just’ tripling of electric vehicle (EV) sales in two years means dealerships will subsidize EVs by raising gasoline vehicle prices or look to the state to further subsidize sales of “chosen” vehicles. This could make gas-powered vehicles purchased in New Mexico more expensive, which would drive purchases from out-of-state auto dealerships. This would result in lost jobs and tax revenue in New Mexico. This situation will worsen if California (and New Mexico) adopts the even more aggressive rules envisaged.
Current tax credits and grants include a federal tax credit of $7,500 and various credits for upgrading electrical grid connectivity, which further aid in the deployment of electric vehicles. Of course, these credits and subsidies are paid for by increasing costs to ratepayers and utility rate payers.
The deployment of electric vehicle charging stations will be another expense associated with this plan. A recent report revealed that New Mexico has only 401 public charging stations statewide. And these must be maintained. A recent report from EV-friendly San Francisco found that 27% of charging stations in the bay were not functional.
This all comes at a time when New Mexico’s largest utility (PNM) is keeping its coal-fired power plant open just to keep the lights on and says it won’t have half the solar replacement power. /battery required to keep the lights on through the summer of 2023.
There are so many issues and costs with a drastic shift to electric vehicles that at the very least the elected New Mexico legislature should have had a say, but instead we have a governor in a battle tight reelection that wants to make big promises to environmental groups and their backers, no matter how much they disrupt or harm New Mexicans and their livelihoods.
The fact is that the real costs of these unrealistic and damaging policies will be borne after this election. Unfortunately, this is all intentional.
Paul Gessing is president of the Rio Grande Foundation of New Mexico. The Rio Grande Foundation is an independent, nonpartisan, tax-exempt research and educational organization dedicated to promoting the prosperity of New Mexico based on the principles of limited government, economic freedom, and responsibility. individual.