New Mexico’s Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) has reportedly approved a greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade program that will allow the state to participate in the Western Climate Initiative (WCI). The program, approved by a 4-3 vote on November 2, 2010, and scheduled to begin in 2012, would affect approximately 63 large industrial sources in New Mexico, including electricity generators and the largest emission sources in the oil-and-gas sector.
Under the program, each affected source in New Mexico must reduce emissions by 2 percent per year from 2010 levels until 2020 or acquire equivalent emissions credits from other participants. The state’s cap-and-trade program would not be triggered unless sources of at least 100 million tons of emissions are subject to controls in the WCI. The WCI states include Arizona, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. It also includes the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. See New Mexico Environment Department Press Release, November 2, 2010; Law 360, November 3, 2010; BNA Daily Environment Report, November 4, 2010.