Senators Udall and Heinrich Back Clean Power Plan To Reduce Carbon Pollution

Both of New Mexico’s United States Senators have issued statements strongly in support of President Obama’s plan to combat climate change.

U.S. Senator Tom Udall praised the plan by the president and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce global warming-causing pollution from power plants. Udall issued the following statement:

“New Mexico and the rest of the Southwest are in the bull’s-eye when it comes to the effects of climate change. From prolonged droughts and more frequent and severe wildfires, to water scarcity and increased diagnoses of asthma and other health issues among children, global warming is impacting families and communities across our state. We can’t afford to hand off this crisis to the next generation – we need to act now. I applaud the president’s plan to limit carbon emissions, a leading contributor to global warming, to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

“A central part of the Clean Power Plan is that states are allowed to design their own plans to meet the targets for cutting pollution. With our diverse energy resources, New Mexico is well-positioned to make the transition to more clean energy, and we can create good-paying jobs in everything from installation to technology as we make the move. Our power companies are working cooperatively and have already started integrating renewable energy thanks to New Mexico’s renewable portfolio standard, which aims to generate 20 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020. I’m pleased the state will continue to work with the EPA to implement a plan that works best for New Mexicans and our utilities. Reducing carbon pollution is a strong step that will fight climate change and help ensure our children are healthier and our air is cleaner.”

A leader in the fight against global warming, Udall has long advocated for a national Renewable Electricity Standard. A bill he introduced this year calls for the United States to commit to producing 30 percent of our nation’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Senate Climate Action Task Force, released the following statement today in support of the Obama Administration’s final Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution nationwide by an average of 30 percent over 2005 levels by 2030, with different specific targets for each state.

“This is a historic step in combating climate change and protecting the health of our kids and future generations. I commend the Obama Administration for taking strong action to establish reasonable and achievable standards that will benefit us all.

“Climate change has very real and costly consequences in New Mexico and across the country. We’re seeing more extreme drought conditions, larger wildfires, shrinking forests, and increased flooding. This is the reality now, not at some far off date in the future. And the longer we wait to act, the more difficult and expensive the solutions will be and the more unpredictable our weather will become.

“With our abundance of wind and sun, New Mexico stands to gain from investments in the job-creating renewable energy sector. Further, the plan will save families and businesses money on their utility bills, protect public health, and preserve the reliability of our electric grid.

“The time is now to act on climate change. We can’t afford to wait.”

Information on how the Clean Power Plan impacts New Mexico is available here.

Additional information on the Clean Power Plan can be found here.