EPA Praises New Mexico Emissions Plan

New Mexico – A regional official with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is giving Gov. Bill Richardson and the New Mexico Environment Department a big pat on the back for trying to establish a greenhouse gas emissions cap and trade program.

EPA regional administrator Al Armendariz of Dallas sent a letter to Richardson on Thursday.

He says New Mexico is pushing forward to reduce emissions by 15 percent within 10 years despite other parties questioning the necessity of curbing the pollution being blamed for climate change.

New Mexico regulators have just wrapped up a two-week hearing on the state's cap and trade proposal.

Critics argue the proposal would harm New Mexico's economy, and some say the state should let the federal government take the lead on controlling greenhouse gases so regulations are consistent across state borders.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.