2018

CVNM Conservation Scorecard – Conservation Voters New Mexico

Find information on every vote included in CVNM's Scorecard. Click on a vote number or name to view an individual vote page that features a description of the vote (or amendment), the outcome of the measure, each legislator's voting record, and more. Click an issue name to learn more about that topic and to see the full list of related Scorecard vote.

Uranium Site Workforce Training Study

HB 208 would have appropriated $250K to study the education and training programs necessary to build a workforce to meet the demand for uranium site clean-up. While this bill did not pass, the budget that passed contained funding for this item at a level of $200K, ensuring that this important training component is sufficiently studied. Unfortunately, Gov. Martinez line item vetoed this funding.

Assurance for Plugging Oil & Gas Wells

SB 189 increases the cap of the amount of the surety bond a company must post for the plugging of an inactive oil or gas well from $50,000 to $250,000. This increased amount is more in line with the cost of plugging a well and remediating a plugged well that leaks, blows out or otherwise fails.

Oil & Gas Act Penalties & Protests

SB 135 would have amended the Oil & Gas Act to allow the imposition of civil penalties, established the penalties and provided a method for appeal of those penalties. It changed criminal to civil penalties in the event of a violation of the Oil & Gas Act, making violations reasonably enforceable. However, it only provided for a $1000 per day penalty with a $25,000 cap, so was unlikely to be an effective tool to protect land, air, water and communities that are negatively impacted by violations of the Oil & Gas Act.

Study Workforce Training & Education

HB 208 would have appropriated $250K to study the education and training programs necessary to build a workforce to meet the demand for uranium site clean-up. While this bill did not pass, the budget that passed contained funding for this item at a level of $200K, ensuring that this important training component is sufficiently studied. Unfortunately, Gov. Martinez line item vetoed this funding.

Uses of Oil & Gas Reclamation Fund

SB 413 would have limited the use of the Oil and Gas Reclamation Fund for agency employee salaries. The bill provided that beginning in fiscal year 2023, 85% of the expenditures from the fund would be used to pay for contract services for plugging, remediation and restoration work.

Public-Private Partnerships Act

HB 275 would have allowed state and local governments to enter into partnerships with private sector partners to facilitate public projects. This was a sweeping measure that would have privatized projects that are most appropriately developed and maintained by public entities such as water and sewage systems. Experiences by other governments in privatizing public services (e.g. transportation, water treatment, education, public safety) have rarely been successful, usually resulting in higher costs, lower quality and expensive legal battles in the long-term.

Nuclear Energy as Renewable Energy

HB 406 would have amended the Renewable Energy Act to include nuclear energy as a renewable energy source. Fissile material such as uranium is not a renewable resource, and its mining and use in nuclear-fueled power plants generates extremely toxic waste.

Crop Dusting Tanks as Above Ground Storage

SB 230 would have excluded fuel storage tanks used exclusively for crop dusting or crop spraying services from being considered “above ground storage” as defined by the Hazardous Waste Act. Above ground tanks pose a risk of leaks and spills that could endanger public health and safety.

Industrial Revenue Bond Changes

SB 394 would have provided for county industrial revenue bonds within the Industrial Revenue Bond Act, and made changes to the list of projects that may be funded by these bonds. Significantly, it added mining projects and refineries, treatment plants or processing plants of energy products, subsidizing private for-profit and extractive industries with revenue bonds paid for by taxpayers.

Oil & Gas Act Powers & Penalties

SB 307 would have re-established administrative and civil penalty authority for the Oil Conservation Division (OCD) to pursue violations of the Oil and Gas Act that result in discharge of contaminants. This authority was lost in the Marbob Energy Corp. v. N.M. Oil Conservation Comm. case. The court determined that legislature needed to give the authority to OCD to collect these penalties, and that OCD could not grant the authority to itself. This bill would have addressed a clear need in OCD’s regulatory enforcement scheme.