from the New Mexico News Connection - A statewide news service for New Mexico
Santa Fe, NM - The Martinez administration has struck out in the "new rules" department. Shortly after being ordered by the New Mexico Supreme Court to publish two new sets of rules approved last year, the governor has backed down in a similar case involving new state building codes.
Clean energy and conservation proponents are three-for-three. The Sierra Club has withdrawn a lawsuit against the Martinez administration in exchange for the governor's agreeing to publish new state building codes adopted last year to achieve greater energy efficiency. The reversal comes after the State Supreme Court ordered the administration to publish two other sets of new environmental rules.
Governor Martinez had put a 90-day delay on implementing all such new rules and codes, but the high court said that move was overstepping her authority. Tammy Fiebelkorn with the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) helped develop the new building codes, "These codes were passed after over a year of public hearings. They went through many, many public input sessions and then, they were passed by the Construction Industries Commission, and they are the commission that has authority to adopt building codes for New Mexico. They're legal; they should be in place."
The codes are expected to be published in the State Register soon, with all provisions in effect by July 1st. Fiebelkorn says training sessions on the new codes using stimulus money will take place this spring throughout the state. The other rules the Supreme Court has ordered the new administration to publish involve pollution from dairies, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from utilities and other major polluters.
According to Fiebelkorn the new codes will save New Mexico businesses and households on energy bills by making new buildings more energy-efficient, "So that folks in New Mexico aren't spending all their money on utilities to heat and cool, and it makes it less pollution for New Mexico, less money spent for New Mexicans. All around, a good idea."
Eric Mack reporting, email@example.com