This has been a milestone year for climate action and conservation, thanks to your support. As we teeter on the cusp of a new year, I wanted to recap some milestones we’ve achieved together in 2022. I also want to share my immense gratitude for you and our community and organizational allies who led multi-year initiatives advocating for the numerous wins listed below.
February 2022 – CVNM joined community advocates in supporting two conservation policies that were signed into law: HB 37 Community Energy Efficiency Development (CEED) Block Grant and HB 164 Uranium Mine Cleanup, culminating years of community advocacy to address low-income energy efficiency needs and legacy uranium mining cleanup, most of which is on tribal and Pueblo lands. These wins were years in the making thanks to our allies.
April 2022 – New Mexico gained nation-leading rules to significantly reduce methane emissions from oil and gas operations in the state after the state Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) approved new rules to limit leaks of ozone precursors and other toxic compounds from oil and gas facilities. The rule culminated years of work by CVNM and our allies with legislative and administrative bodies.
May 2022 – Advanced Clean Cars Standards for New Mexico – championed by CVNM and many allies – were adopted by the EIB and the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board. The rules limit tailpipe pollution from passenger vehicles and increase the availability of zero-emission electric cars, SUVs and pickup trucks in New Mexico.
June 2022 – The magnificent L Bar Ranch was added to Marquez Wildlife Management Area, protecting 54,000 acres of biologically and culturally significant landscape for wildlife, recreation, and preservation of ancestral property and traditions for New Mexico tribes and pueblos. The win culminated years of work by many allied Indigenous and environmental groups, including CVNM, during the 2022 session.
July 2022 – In a massive win for New Mexico waterways, the Water Quality Control Commission approved Outstanding National Resource Water (ONRW) protections for the Upper Pecos Watershed and portions of the Jemez, Hondo and Upper Rio Grande. CVNM and allies – including tribal leaders and governments, local governments, farmers, acequia members, water conservation groups, and outdoor recreationists – worked for years in support of ONRW status, the most protective water quality designation under the federal Clean Water Act.
August 2022 – After frustrating delays and detours, Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the most far-reaching climate action in US history. A priority bill for the Conservation Voters Movement nationwide, its record investments will help ensure the nation meets 80% of its climate reduction goals by 2030 and include significant funding directed at environmental justice communities. CVNM will work to leverage funds from the IRA to resource conservation, restoration, and just transition work in New Mexico.
November 2022 – CVNM, through our coordinated political committee CVNM Action Fund, endorsed 32 pro-conservation candidates in competitive races in the general election– 4 for statewide office and 28 for state House of Representatives: 28 of our endorsed candidates won, representing 84% of our endorsed list. With these victories, the Legislature will continue to hold a strong pro-conservation majority.
Also, through our independent expenditure political committee Verde Voters Fund, we executed a successful statewide voter engagement campaign to re-elect our champion Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham through TV, a digital campaign push, banner ads, and mailers to likely climate voters. In addition, CVNM Verde Voters Fund launched a successful statewide digital campaign to reelect our champion Stephanie Garcia Richard in a second term as our Commissioner of Public Lands.
And in partnership, with our national partner the League of Conservation Voters, CVNM worked closely to support the hard fought battle to unseat anti-conservation incumbent Yvette Herell and elect pro-conservation candidate Gabe Vasquez as our next New Mexico member of Congress representing Congressional District #2.
All this work builds on previous gains in 2021, after Gov. Lujan Grisham’s Climate Executive Order in 2019 that gave us a strong foundation to build on: an Executive Order to protect 30% of New Mexico’s lands, waters, wildlife and natural heritage by 2030; passage of the Community Solar bill; and creation of the Sustainable Economy Task Force.
We and our allies couldn’t have accomplished any of these milestones without your support and engagement. Together, we’ll continue to build on this momentum in 2023 to gain passage of two priority bills: a climate and energy bill that will provide a path to an equitable zero-emission state economy by 2050 and a bill to get long-term sustainable conservation funding to leverage the large amount of federal funds available for land and water conservation.
Wishing you a peaceful and abundant new year, and many thanks for being a Conservation Voter.
With immense gratitude,
CVNM Executive Director