Home New mexico tax New Mexico lawmakers seek ‘clean fuel standard’ again to reduce pollution

New Mexico lawmakers seek ‘clean fuel standard’ again to reduce pollution

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New Mexico lawmakers are again trying to establish a “clean fuel standard” in state law aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks statewide.

Senate Bill 14, known as the Clean Fuel Standard Act, was introduced during the current legislative session after a similar measure passed the Senate last year but stalled in the House. .

Sponsored by Sen. Mimi Steward (D-17), SB 14 would require the Environmental Improvement Council to adopt a policy to reduce air pollution from the transportation sector by requiring producers to produce low carbon fuels.

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The bill would offer tax incentives to energy companies to develop decarbonization projects or to develop renewable fuels and it was hoped to encourage future such investments in the state.

Incentives would also be offered, if the bill passes, for the construction of electric vehicle charging stations.

If passed, the bill would require New Mexico to reduce the average amount of greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030 and 30% by 2040 from 2018 levels. .

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It would also ask the Council to establish a credit system allowing companies in other sectors such as agriculture or manufacturing to claim tax credits to help pay for projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

A fund would also be created if the bill passes, consisting of funds raised from fees collected from the transportation fund regulations and future donations or grants, and used to help NMED implement the standards.

Emissions from transportation fuel have proven to be one of the largest sources of carbon emissions in New Mexico, according to a report by the New Mexico Clean Fuels Coalition.

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Adoption of the policy was, according to the report, to have the effect of taking 71,000 cars off the road each year for seven years.

The bill was a legislative priority of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and the New Mexico Department of Environment (NMED) as it works to reduce air pollution statewide.

Lujan Grisham said that by increasing production of “clean fuels,” New Mexico could also diversify its economy and create new jobs.

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The Coalition also argued that the regulations could lower the price of gasoline by increasing consumer choice, with renewable diesel costing up to 20 cents less per gallon than traditional diesel.

“Passing this bill puts New Mexico on the right track to fight climate change while creating a competitive economy for clean transportation fuels, which can create good jobs and reduce transportation costs for New Mexicans,” Lujan Grisham said.

Stewart said establishing standards and policies would help tackle pollution in New Mexico and could serve as a model for other states.

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Mimi Steward, New Mexico State Senator (D-17)

“Our state will become a model for the nation,” she said. “This shift to low-carbon fuels will make our state a leader in low-carbon fuel production and show the country how to reduce carbon emissions while creating thousands of well-paying jobs.”

Rep. Nathan Small (D-36), who also supported the bill, said passage of the bill would begin to develop a “new industry” of “clean” transportation fuel manufacturing and the necessary infrastructure. for less polluting vehicles.

“Our economy will benefit from a new sector of clean fuel manufacturers,” Small said. “As the center of the new transportation economy, we will see cleaner air and increased electric vehicle infrastructure across our state.”

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Larry Behrens, spokesman for the Santa Fe bases for the fossil fuel advocacy group Power the Future, said environmental initiatives such as the clean fuel standard led by Lujan Grisham and his supporters would only thwart the oil and gas industry by increasing regulations on energy companies.

He said it could impact New Mexico’s finances, as the state received about $5.3 billion in oil and gas revenue in fiscal year 2021, according to a New Mexico study. Mexico Tax Research Institute commissioned by the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association.

“As Santa Fe is awash with cash, there is clearly a drought of common sense on the governor’s part,” Behrens said. “These proposals are so out of touch that it’s hard to understand why the Governor would even want them, until you remember that the Governor is fighting for campaign donations first from radical environmentalists and New Brunswick families. Mexico last.”

Adrian Hedden can be reached at 575-618-7631, [email protected] or @AdrianHedden on Twitter.