Three environmental bills passed their first committees Tuesday. The Senate Conservation Committee passed two bills, one related to a clean fuel standard and the other related to improving air quality in the state, while the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee passed a bill to create an environmental database.
Senate President Pro Tem Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, presented SB 11, the Clean Fuel Standard Act, which Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said is one of her legislative priorities for the session. The bill would direct the New Mexico Environment Department’s (NMED) Environmental Improvement Board to promulgate rules creating a clean fuel standard for transportation fuels. Rep. Nathan Small, D-Las Cruces, is the House sponsor of the bill.
“It’s a smart approach to positively impact our economy, our public health, and our environment,” Stewart said. She estimated that the bill would yield a 4.7 million ton reduction of carbon emissions from the state’s transportation sector “with no change needed in consumer behavior.”
Stewart also said the bill would generate sustainable growth for the state’s economy by supporting a new industry.
“We’re estimating about $47 million annually in economic investments by enacting this bill and merely by announcing the bill, our agencies are hearing from new businesses that want to come to New Mexico, and others that want to expand here,” Stewart said.