I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Martinez administration responds to environmentalists’ lawsuit
Gov. Susana Martinez’s office responded to a lawsuit by an environmental group which would force publication of environmental rules that Martinez halted last week. The governor’s office issued a statement to the Santa Fe Reporter which appears to be the first public comment on the situation by the administration.
“Contrary to the allegations in the new lawsuit filed by the special interest group, the Governor’s Office is following the law on administrative rule-making,” the statement from Martinez spokesman Scott Darnell read. “The cap and tax regulation had not been published in the New Mexico register, which means it was not yet valid or enforceable.”
At issue is a carbon reduction rule that would cut greenhouse emissions by three percent annually. The regulations were passed by the Environmental Improvement Board in November after public hearings throughout the state.
The New Mexico Environmental Law Center said that this is illegal and sued for a writ of mandamus in the state Supreme Court, which would compel Martinez to publish the regulations. NMELC contends that laws passed by the Environmental Improvement Boards must be published in “a timely manner” in accordance with state law and that Martinez halting the publication would violate this.
Darnell’s statement shows the Governor’s Office disagrees.
“The executive order suspending pending rules for 90 days only temporarily postpones the publication of the rule for a brief amount of time to allow for review,” Darnell said. “This temporary postponement is consistent with the legal requirement that the State Records Center publish filed rules ‘in a timely manner.’”
NMELC staff attorney Bruce Frederick told the Santa Fe Reporter that the statement shows that Martinez is “is interested in playing political games, not complying with the law.”