Report: NM Greenhouse Gas Emissions Flat Despite Energy Use Hike

New Mexico – New Mexicans are consuming more energy to heat, cool and power their homes than a decade ago and more traffic is clogging highways.

However, an inventory of the state's greenhouse gas emissions shows they have remained flat.

Officials say that's good news, considering the state's population grew more than 6 percent from 2000 to 2007.

The director of the Environment Department's Environmental Protection Division, Jim Norton, says the greenhouse gas inventory shows New Mexico is close to reaching Gov. Bill Richardson's goal of reducing emissions to 2000 levels by 2012.

The long-term goal is to reduce emissions another 10 percent by 2020 and 75 percent by 2050.

Norton says the department will petition state regulators this summer to adopt a cap and trade program for greenhouse gas emissions.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.