New Mexico Republicans oppose new vehicle rules: ‘This proposed rule will place an undue financial burden on rural communities across the state’

By New Mexico Sun

Nov 3, 2023

The New Mexico House of Representatives Republican Caucus recently issued a statement opposing the Environmental Improvement Board’s plan to limit vehicle purchases in the state, contending that the board is ignoring the wishes of many New Mexicans.

“House Republicans believe this excessive and unnecessary proposed rule is politically motivated and pandering to the eco-dreams for Albuquerque and Santa Fe progressives. The Governor and her political appointees do not care how this proposed rule will place an undue financial burden on rural communities across the state. They would rather force California–style ‘climate change’ mandates and fees on New Mexico residents who live too far from highways and limited infrastructure to benefit from the rampant eco-subsidies that will almost solely benefit the eco-elite in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Rather than having unelected appointees decide what type of vehicles New Mexico consumers will be allowed to buy in the future, this issue should be considered by the full State Legislature in the upcoming 2024 Legislative session”, said New Mexico House of Representatives Republican Caucus.

A press release from House Republicans states that the Environmental Improvement Board’s ruling will restrict consumer choice by “forcing consumers to buy electric vehicles that are ill-suited for the long distances New Mexico drivers typically drive daily.” It also mentions that electric vehicles are more expensive than their gasoline-powered counterparts.

The Environmental Improvement Board, appointed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, has drafted new rules which mandate 82% of new vehicles sold in New Mexico to have zero emissions by 2032, according to KRQE.

The Republicans’ letter presents numerous objections they have with this proposal, including what they see as an unjustifiable increase from requiring only 7% of new New Mexico vehicles to be zero emission in 2026 under current standards, up to a staggering 43% just one year later in 2027 under these new regulations. The letter also discusses potential logistical difficulties for users of electric vehicles in the state, including a lack of charging stations.

Twenty-five Republican lawmakers signed this letter to the Environmental Improvement Board. Public comments and hearings on the rule will take place from Nov. 13-15.

Finally, KRQE found that in some instances, New Mexico’s clean air rules appear to directly mirror California’s own regulations.