The quoted information below comes from Jim Crawford and Donna Crawford.
Mr. and Ms. Crawford have been faithful in making sure the public is well-informed on the Cap & Trade issues here in New Mexico. Their attendance at many meetings to listen to the deliberations and submit serious (and some humorous) comments speaks to their conservatism and their dedication to appropriate rules and regulations.
The Sandia Tea Party applauds their efforts and encourages them to continue their work as advocates for the public.
Notes EIB Meeting – February 06, 2012
By Jim Crawford
The regular EIB meeting was held February 6, 2012 in Apodaca Hall in the old PERA building. The board members except for Greg Fulfer were all present at the start of the meeting. Jim Cassiano had to sit out when the deliberation on repeal of cap and trade came up since he has recused himself from that case. The meeting started at 0905 and ended at 1400 for us when the board went into executive session.
OOB Observations, Opinions, and Barbs:
NM Cap and Trade was repealed by unanimous decision!
The five board members that deliberated the cap and trade repeal deserve a big shout out. The discussion was very well researched, based on and referenced to testimony, and very logically presented. It was fascinating to watch. It was a night and day difference from 2010 when the decisions were made with virtually no discussion and no tie back to the record. The board had done their homework and it showed!
One of the most interesting things was that the environmental lawyers made a big deal of including the entire record from the 2010 hearings into the record for this proceeding. The hearing officer finally relented and included the 2010 record. As a consequence much of the board’s rationale for their decision on this case was tied back to omissions and admissions from the 2010 record. Inclusion of the old record hurt more than helped the environmentalist case in my opinion.
The procedural costs over the last two years must be astronomical. All the costs ultimately fall back on the customers. We have incurred all this expense for no measurable environmental benefit.
The charges of political bias are already flying since the board was appointed by Governor Martinez. The critics tend to forget the 2010 decision was strictly a political decision in support of Governor Richardson’s quest for a green legacy with nothing to back it up.
Item 6 Request for Hearing – Williams Four Corners: This was supposed to be a request by Williams for a permit hearing. It was a bit odd in that the company representative did not show up. The item was postponed until next month.
Item 7 Storage Tank Rules Statement of Reasons: This was review and approval of the statement of reasons to adopt the Petroleum Storage Tank Rules. This is the case that has been discussed for several previous meetings with NMED being sent back to do better on presenting the information. The decision to adopt the rules was made January 3 at a meeting we missed. There was minimal discussion and a few minor correction s and the SOR was approved.
Item 8 Open Meetings Resolution: This is the annual reaffirmation of the Open Meetings Resolution. Litigation related to actions having potential injury or damage to people or personal property was added as a legitimate reason for calling an emergency meeting. E-mail notices for emergency meetings was added. The resolution was then approved.
Item 9 Repeal of Cap and Trade: This of course was the big item of the day. The board broke the deliberations into 2 parts. They dealt with Part 350 first which is the cap and trade part of the rule and then dealt with Parts 300 and 301 after the decision was made on Part 350. The whole process was done step by step and quite logically.
First the Chairperson went through a brief history of the case, a discussion of the board’s authority to repeal previous decisions, discussed that repeal does not require any higher standard of proof than the original decision, pointed out the need to explain and justify changes of position, and finally had each member certify that they had read the entire record and were familiar with it.
The member discussions were then centered on four main decision criteria under the Air Quality Control Act.
The first category was impacts on health, welfare and environment. Some of the highlight points were:
Even with Part 350 NM does not register on any scale of global warming. No substantial evidence was presented. 2010 hearing even indicated as much.
No convincing evidence of health problems from CO2
Part 350 does not abate pollution and produces no environmental benefit
There is doubt and uncertainty about man cause global warming
No convincing evidence of man caused global warming
NM climate variations cannot be attributed to global warming
No measurable effects on climate change or global warming
No environmental improvement
Emissions may increase if Part 350 stays in effect
No impact on health and environment from repeal
The next category dealt with public interest and social issues. Some of the highlights from that discussion were:
Without repeal, NM will be at an economic disadvantage and there will be a negative impact on NM business
Significant costs to NM residents if not repealed, electric rate payers, refiners, etc.
Benefits of Part 350 do not outweigh the costs
Job losses are a greater moral issue than man caused global warming. When you are out of a job and electric rates are going up global warming is meaningless
There will be no net effect on global warming from Part 350
Other entities are moving away from cap and trade policies
NM does not need to emulate California
Economic costs outweigh environmental benefit
In 2010 about 88% of the comments were in opposition to Part 350 and in 2011 about 72% of personal letters and 98% of all comments were in favor of repeal of Part 350. New Mexicans are obviously not in favor of Part 350.
Major changes have happened in the Western Climate Initiative. NM has dropped out and CA and Canadian provinces are the only remaining members. Other groups such as RGGI and European initiatives are falling apart.
Part 350 will cause serious impacts on state GDP and jobs
Part 350 has caused and will cause more economic and environmental leakage
Customers pay all the increased costs of Part 350
The third category was technical and economic reasonableness. Some of the highlights were;
There is a lack of viable technology to implement Part 350. Most viable options are already being implemented
No technology exists for capturing CO2 and only option is to reduce fuel use and electric consumption
Use of natural gas is penalized by Part 350
Part 350 is not economically reasonable and impacts are significant
Cap and trade is losing favor around the world
Implementation of Part 350 is not technically practical
NMED cannot practically implement the rules
Last the board discussed what had changed between 2010 and 2011. Some of the highlights were:
Position of NMED has changed and NM has dropped out of WCI. No viable regional program exists except for CA.
NM is overshadowed by CA
Numerous changes at the federal level regulating emissions
Programs are being reduced and discontinued nationally and globally
No reason for NM to continue on its own
Many new federal regulations are in place and NMED even agreed in 2010 that Part 350 not needed if a federal program is in place.
Repeal would be consistent with Part 350 sunset clause
The recent economic analysis was done for Part 350 alone and did not include a number of complementary policies not subject to Part 350 as was done in 2010. The new analysis shows significant impacts on state GDP and jobs.
NM is standing in front of a regulatory firing squad and Part 350 is piling on
The board then voted 5 to 0 to repeal Part 350.
We then took a lunch break and came back about 1330 to continue with discussion about repeal of Parts 300 and 301. The two parts were discussed together. Many of the same points were made about these two parts as were made for Part 350 above. The main additional points were:
The 3 parts are clearly tied together and it makes no sense to keep them after Part 350 was repealed
Duplication of EPA rules
Increased burden on NMED with lack of capability to handle new work.
NM will not be gaining any additional information on emissions
Additional burdens on businesses
Many new small businesses would be affected that do not come under Part 350
The benefits do not justify the costs
The board voted 5 to 0 to repeal Part 300.
The board voted 5 to 0 to repeal Part 301.