Jan. 6, 2011 New Mexico governor fires environment panel

Newly elected Republican Governor Susana Martinez fired members of the state’s Environmental Improvement Board (EIB), likely in response to their approval of a cap-and-trade plan last year.

In November, a plan was approved by the EIB which called for power plants and fossil fuel facilities to reduce their emission 3 percent annually until 2013. In this system, emitters would be able to buy allowances to meet their targets. However, this plan is only set to go into place should New Mexico fail to join the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), a regional cap-and-trade scheme that includes several US and Canadian states.

Although Governor Martinez is a critic of man-made climate change, it will be difficult for her to both remove New Mexico from the WCI while also avoiding the EIB’s proposed carbon scheme.