We're about to get snow tonight (for the fifth week in a row) and maybe people will start to understand the effects of our behavior on our climate. I'm not sure about it relating to climate change, though I know it's becoming a little excessive (and weird) to expect snow on Thursday like clockwork.
Lost in all the holiday traffic was this piece of new momentum arising from New Mexico:
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has signed an executive order (2006-69) that specifies greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies to address climate change in New Mexico.
The order creates a state government implementation team tasked with ensuring policies from the order are carried out. These policies include:
Creating a market-based greenhouse gas emissions registry and reduction program;
Advancing carbon capture and sequestration technology;
Mandating that state vehicles use mainly clean, renewable fuels;
Proposing a one-time tax credit of up to 40% for the purchase, construction or retrofitting of alternative fuel filling stations;
Promoting the use of manure from the dairy industry in power generation;
Developing an education and outreach program on green buildings for those private sector builders; and
Creating new procurement rules that ensure state government offices have energy efficient appliances.
This precedes the actual policy recommendations mentioned in the State of the State:
We have invested heavily in clean energies like wind, solar and biomass, while
requiring utilities to produce more of their energy through renewable sources.
We have led the fight against global warming—even when the federal
government has not. We have followed the principles of the Kyoto treaty and mandated
some of the toughest emission reduction goals in the country.
We have the potential to lead once more. We can, and should become the first
state in the country to use 100-percent renewable energy in government buildings.
Rather than wait for Washington, I propose adopting tough carbon emission
standards for new cars and trucks sold in New Mexico. Tough standards will cut vehicle
emissions by 30% within the next ten years.
I am also proposing an advanced coal tax incentive. This will help ensure that
any new coal-fired power plant built in New Mexico will install state-of-the-art pollution
controls and achieve significant carbon dioxide reductions.
I ask this legislature to join me in transforming our schools into “green
buildings”—protecting our environment and saving energy costs. We should also
provide tax credits to promote green offices and homes, create an Energy innovation fund
to develop clean energy projects, and give consumers a one-month tax holiday to
purchase energy-efficient appliances.
And once again I propose a land conservation fund to support land, wildlife and
clean energy projects that create a legacy for future generations.
Now this is what I'm talking about. So many Senators in this race have little to no accomplishments that have affected people or furthered the progressive cause.
Richardson on the other hand has made substantial efforts to produce serious change in the arena he now operates in. The simple fact he has made such a large stride in this capacity speaks to his dedication and inner political strengths. In a purple state such as this, he could have done nothing and pleased many.
Instead he did something (a lot of something, really) and is securing our environment for future generations.
How's about that for a solution?