Carbon Emissions Battle In New Mexico

New Mexico – New Mexico regulators are hearing testimony that an environmental group's proposal for curbing greenhouse gas emissions in New Mexico won't destroy the state's economy as critics have complained.

Attorney Steve Michel of Santa Fe is testifying Monday before the Environmental Improvement Board on behalf of a petition filed by New Energy Economy.

The group's proposal would force segments of the oil and natural gas industry and the state's coal-fired power plants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3 percent per year from 2010 levels.

Michel estimates the cost of complying with the proposed regulations, if adopted, would be less than an additional 1 percent each year to electric prices and a fraction of 1 percent for oil and gas commodities.

Attorneys representing industry groups are questioning Michel's expertise.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.