It seems like every day there is a new attack on our bedrock environmental laws or the public lands in our backyard. The federal government is currently run by anti-conservation forces that have repeatedly demonstrated that they serve industry instead of hard-working families. Governor Susana Martinez has aggressively championed polluting businesses at the expense of the health and safety of New Mexicans.
That is why, now more than ever, it is crucial to strengthen state protections for our air, land and water. We must ensure state legislators support our conservation values. That is why Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM) recently released the Conservation Scorecard for the 2017 legislative session.
Doña Ana County sent great conservation champions to the Roundhouse in 2016. Representatives Angelica Rubio and Nathan Small, and Senators Jeff Steinborn and Bill Soules showed that we are becoming a political force in New Mexico. They sponsored legislative initiatives supporting renewable energy, protection of public lands and government transparency and accountability. Angelica, Nathan, Jeff and Bill scored 100% on CVNM’s 2017 conservation scorecard. You can see how your representatives scored by going to CVNM.org/Scorecard.
But with anti-environment forces gathering, we desperately need executive leadership to support advocates like Reps. Small and Rubio in Santa Fe. That is why Conservation Voters New Mexico Action Fund has endorsed U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham to be our next governor. In the face of unprecedented threats to clean water, public lands and clean energy it is critical that our next governor have a strong vision for a sustainable economy that prioritizes community investment and uplifts every day New Mexicans. Representative Lujan Grisham stands out from the rest of the gubernatorial contenders because she understands that environmental protection doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Strong communities aren’t just clean air and drinkable water – they offer quality schools, safe streets and opportunities for growth.
New Mexico’s stumbling economy is at a crossroads. We can aimlessly wander the same worn paths that led us where we are today, or embrace an energy revolution that promises to be as profound as digital communications and the internet.
Steve Fischmann is vice chair of Conservation Voters New Mexico, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to protect our air, land, and water. He is a former member of the state Senate.