Emissions Battle

New Mexico – The New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board is considering a proposal by the state Environment Department for a new regulation to cap and trade greenhouse gas emissions.

A hearing began Monday in Santa Fe and will continue into next week.

Under the proposal, the state would be able to participate in a regional cap-and-trade program. However, the state would not implement the program unless there were sufficient greenhouse gas allowances to make trading efficient and cost-effective.

The proposal also includes a sunset provision that would end the state regulation if the federal government implemented its own program.

Despite economic concerns voiced by critics, state officials say it's imperative to control emissions to limit the potential impacts of climate change on New Mexico.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.