The last seven years have seen an outright assault on laws that protect our clean air, clean water and communities in New Mexico. Governor Susana Martinez has initiated rollbacks that make it harder to protect groundwater from mine runoff, reduce methane waste, protect clean air and help the state transition to more renewable energy. She’s repeatedly pushed legislation that puts the profits of corporate shareholders over the health and jobs of New Mexican families.Almost a decade of a Martinez administration has made it difficult to imagine a New Mexico with real leadership in place. New Mexicans like you have spent years resisting not just the fallout from the governor’s office, but also borderline corrupt incompetence from the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) under (now oil and gas industry lobbyist) Ryan Flynn. We’ve also suffered ignorance and inaction from the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) under Ken McQueen and unprecedented levels of ineffectual opacity from the governor-appointed Interstate Stream Commission. While the challenges in state government have been omnipresent, the solutions are all around us.In addition to key state agencies like NMED and EMNRD, the next governor will appoint the State Engineer, the Game Commission and the Interstate Stream Commission. The impact that the governor has on conservation policy in New Mexico is simply enormous. The governor will do more to impact conservation policy in his or her first 100 days than the legislature will do in a full term.This outsized impact is what drove Conservation Voters New Mexico Action Fund to consider issuing an endorsement for governor more than a full year out from Election Day 2018. The level of preparation,
education and research that goes into getting the right people and plans in place takes a great deal of time and energy. We spent a little over two months preparing and reading questionnaires, pouring over campaign finance reports, interviewing candidates and deliberating before we ultimately settled on Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham for a CVNM Action Fund Endorsement. We’ve seen that preparation rewarded already, as her recently-released Jumpstart plan places renewable energy at the center of an ambitious economic growth strategy. Find the Jumpstart plan online at bit.ly/MLGJumpstart.There’s a huge amount of work to do to get a true conservation ally into the governor’s chair, but with the support of CVNM members like you, we’re confident we’re going to see a great result in 2018.
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