CVNM quoted in profile on Attorney General Hector Balderas:
Nearly 49 percent of New Mexicans have Hispanic ancestry. More than one-tenth of the state is tribal land.
“Both of those populations have long-standing, very deeply rooted environmental values,” said Liliana Castillo, communications director for Conservation Voters New Mexico. “They have very strong and ingrained interests in protecting the air, the land and water, and their health.”
The state also has a strong fossil fuel industry. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, New Mexico has about 3 percent of the country’s estimated recoverable coal reserves. The state is also the nation’s sixth-largest oil-producing state and among the nation’s top 10 gas-producing states.
Coal-fired power production makes up about three-fifths of the state’s electricity generation, but New Mexico also has substantial renewable energy resources. Wind power made up 11 percent of the state’s electricity generation in 2016.
“In a state like New Mexico that is heavily dependent on oil and gas exploration and production for our budget … a lot of times, the impacts of that industry on people — there are real people, lots and lots of people — are not discussed as much,” Castillo said. “[Balderas] is more strongly representing that part of the conversation in the legal proceedings.”