New Mexico Approves Cap And Trade Plan

New Mexico – New Mexico regulators have voted 4-3 to approve a proposal for establishing a greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade program.

The New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board on Tuesday spent more than four hours considered a petition by the Environment Department to allow the state to participate in a regional cap-and-trade program with the other Western states and Canadian provinces that make up the Western Climate Initiative.

Board members made one change before adopting the proposal. They included language that would allow the state to propose cost containment measures if the cost of compliance reaches a certain level.

The proposal had been the source of much debate among conservationists, electric utilities and other industry representatives.

Dozens of experts had spent days testifying before the board on the potential impacts on New Mexico's economy and environment.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.