New Mexico Approves Emissions Cap

New Mexico – New Mexico regulators have decided to approve an environmental group's proposal for capping greenhouse gas emissions statewide.

The Environmental Improvement Board voted 4-1 during a meeting Monday in Santa Fe.

The petition from New Energy Economy forces large polluters to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 3 percent per year from 2010 levels. It would become effective in 2013.

The petition was the focus earlier this year of days of public hearings and expert testimony.

Supporters say the petition allows New Mexico to move forward with controlling emissions since the proposal isn't dependent on regional partners like the state's recently approved cap-and-trade program.

Critics fear the plan would put New Mexico at a competitive disadvantage and that regulation of greenhouse gas emissions should be left to the federal government.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.