The New Mexico Supreme Court has reportedly ruled that Governor Susana Martinez’s (R) administration violated the state constitution by imposing a 90-day delay on the publication of greenhouse gas (GHG) rules in the New Mexico State Register. She apparently imposed the delay to allow for a determination as to whether the rules were “business-friendly.” A clean energy advocacy group, New Energy Economy, Inc., alleged that the rules had already been approved by the state Environmental Improvement Board and that the governor’s administration did not have authority under the state constitution to block or delay them.
The court agreed and issued a writ of mandamus ordering the state records administrator to publish the rules in the next issue of the Register. According to the court, the person holding that office is obligated under state law to publish rules filed with the records center regardless of disputes over the merits of the rules or requests made by the executive branch. The rules, which the board approved December 6, 2010, would reduce GHG emissions primarily for power plants and segments of the oil and gas industry. See BNA Daily Environmental Report, January 27, 2011.