Climate Strategies in Action

Clean Efficient Electricity and Buildings

In July 2020, the New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority released findings from its New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission and Storage Study that explored the state’s renewable capabilities. The study concluded ample renewable energy resources for development in New Mexico to meet the Energy Transition Act’s requirement of 50% renewable electricity for utilities and rural electric cooperatives by 2030.

In August 2019, the National Governors Association (NGA) announced that New Mexico had been selected to participate in a policy retreat on modernizing electric power grids, including integrating clean energy and electric vehicle charging networks. NGA and the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department held the policy retreat in December 2019 with over 50 attendees.

In April 2019, the New Mexico General Services Department announced a $32 million State Buildings Green Energy Project that will improve energy efficiency of state buildings in Santa Fe. The work will include the installation of solar panels and improved building insulation. Several state buildings are currently undergoing upgrades.

Transportation Decarbonization

New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) and the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board (AQCB) voted to adopt the Clean Cars and Clean Trucks rule as 20.2.91 NMAC on November 16, 2023. As a result of implementing these rules, New Mexicans will:

  • Save $300 million from vehicle lifetime fuel savings and lower maintenance costs by 2050.
  • Save up to $62 million in health care costs with almost 70% occurring in Bernalillo County by 2050. The health savings are attributed to the reduction in air pollution that impairs lung function.
  • Reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 62%, nitrogen oxides by 43%, and particulate matter by 24% from the transportation sector. These air pollutants can trigger asthma attacks, increase risk of heart disease, and increase smog/haze.

In July 2020, the Federal Highway Administration approved New Mexico’s first Alternative Fuel Corridors, facilitated by the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department and the NM Department of Transportation. These designations will support development of alternative fuel infrastructure, including electric vehicle charging stations, along New Mexico’s highways. More information is available here.

The New Mexico Environment Department awarded $7.3 million dollars to purchase 29 new vehicles including electric transit buses, electric and alternate-fueled school buses and shuttle buses, and alternate-fueled and clean diesel solid waste and public works vehicles for seven diesel emission reduction replacement projects across New Mexico in the third and final round of funding from the VW Settlement fund in 2022. The second round of its 2017 Volkswagen settlement funds in April 2020 toward projects involving alternative-fueled vehicles and light duty zero emission electric vehicle charging stations. Close to $1.9 million will contribute to projects in Bernalillo, McKinley, Santa Fe and Torrance counties to purchase new electric transit buses, electric and alternate-fueled school buses, and alternate-fueled solid waste vehicles. In addition, nearly $2.7 million will be awarded for electric vehicle charging infrastructure projects; the maximum amount allowed under the settlement agreement for New Mexico. These projects will bring more than 116 new charging stations to 23 of New Mexico’s 33 counties.

In July 2019, Gov. Lujan Grisham was one of 24 U.S. governors to sign on to the U.S. Climate Alliance’s “Clean Car Promise,” which calls for one strong, national clean car standard and supports state authority to protect residents from air pollution.

Industrial, Oil, and Gas Sector Emissions

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) worked hand in hand to develop regulations to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. Following an unprecedented public and stakeholder outreach process, EMNRD’s natural gas waste reduction rules went into effect in May 2021 and NMED’s ozone precursor rule went into effect in August 2022.

Natural and Working Lands

The Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department’s Forestry Division created a Forest Action Plan, which encompasses many natural and working lands climate priorities. Stakeholder input was gathered as part of the process.

Emergency Management, Health, and Resilience

In June 2020, the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department worked with the University of New Mexico’s Earth Data Analysis Center to create a climate risk mapping tool designed for state agency and local and tribal government staff. The map identifies what parts of the state are vulnerable to climate-related hazards and where resources may be available to mitigate these hazards.