Why the Green Amendment Is Good for New Mexico
Summary: Sponsored by Senators Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and Bill Soules, and Rep. Joanne Ferrary. This legislation, if approved by voters in a statewide referendum, would amend the state constitution to give all New Mexicans a constitutional right to clean air, pure water, a stable climate, and a healthy environment. These rights would become inherent, inalienable, and indefeasible, and among those rights reserved to all the people and on par with other protected inalienable rights.
Why This Legislation Is Good for NM
- A Green Amendment to the state constitution would mandate that our government officials respect and protect the right to clean air, water, and land for all residents of the state.
- Once an amendment is in place, residents would have the right to legal redress if any of these rights are violated.
- The oil and gas industry in NM emits 570,000 tons of methane a year, the equivalent climate impact of 12 coal-fired power plants. Methane pollution, a known carcinogen, has more than doubled in the Permian Basin since 2011.
- Our state has the most extreme water scarcity in the nation. Temperatures are rising, drought is increasing, and the state’s reservoirs are at record lows.
- Native nations such as the Navajo, Ute, Puebo, and Apache are on the frontlines of environmental racism in our state, with radioactive wastewater pollution, desecration of sacred sites for oil infrastructure, and water contamination from fracking in the San Juan Basin.
- The Albuquerque Metro area received a “D” rating from the American Lung Association for days of elevated smog levels, and the greater Las Cruces region received an “F.” Smog can inflame the lungs, increase the risk of stroke, exacerbate COPD, and increase the risk of heart attack.
- Adelante Progressive Caucus of the DPNM
- Common Ground Community Trust
- Interfaith Power & Light NM
- National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL)
- New Energy Economy
- Rio Grande Waterkeepers
- Sacred Land, Sacred Water
- Southwest Environmental Center
- Water Culture Institute
- Wild Earth Guardians