New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, together with environmental and community organizations, filed a petition seeking that the city’s Public Regulatory Commission accept the scientific facts behind climate change.

The petition explicitly requests that the commission recognize that climate change is driven by humankind, which increases greenhouse gases. The burning of fossil resources used by energy plants, automobiles, buildings, and industries is a major contributor to greenhouse gas pollution.

The petition emphasizes that droughts, cyclones, landslides, heat waves, and rising oceans have been and will continue to impact climate change. Furthermore, until greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere are rapidly and significantly reduced, the effects for public health, the economy, and the ecosystem are expected to be severe and permanent.

Eventually, the petition seeks that the city’s PRC includes scientific findings in its judicial process, especially in the Avangrid-PNM merger deal. One of the conclusions that the parties are demanding is that the PRC accepts scientific realities, which are established on a common understanding of scientific papers and research included in the petition.

The petition was filed in conjunction with the PRC’s review of Avangrid and PNM Resources’ planned merger. Avangrid made numerous significant commitments to combat climate change as part of that transaction.

Avangrid’s commitments include emissions reduction targets that are well above those mandated by New Mexico law. The transaction has now obtained six clearances from different governmental officials and is awaiting a verdict from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.

According to one conservation group representative, the petition presented today is significant because, if approved, it would signal that the New Mexico PRC has ruled that human-caused environmental issues and their inevitable implications are no longer arguable.

Likewise, an energy shift is required to solve climate change. Some of the alternatives available include clean electricity, energy efficiency, weatherization, and electric vehicles. The severity of the environmental crisis needs a comprehensive and serious government response, which is critical to ensuring a dynamic and productive future for New Mexico and a habitable world for everybody.

New Mexicans feel the effects of climate change, with more severe fires, acute drought, and extended extreme weather. The commission has a chance to assist our state and the community by acknowledging the facts of the climate problem and using the facts to drive its evaluation and planning processes.

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