top of page

Candidate, Santa Fe City County Commission District 2

Scott Fuqua
rs=w_730,h_730,cg_true (1).webp

Climate Science-Based Policy

  1. Do you agree with climate scientists that we are facing a climate emergency?

    1. Yes

  2. Do you agree with climate scientists that the brunt of the impacts we face due to climate change will be put on those who contributed the least emissions? (The global South, Indigenous, and low-income communities)

    1. Yes

  3. Do you agree with climate scientists that greenhouse gas emissions must be reversed within 6 years in order to achieve carbon neutrality in time to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees and to avoid catastrophic runaway climate disruption? - IPCC Report

    1. Yes

  4. If elected, what specific policies will you initiate in your first year of service to begin transitioning our state economy from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy within the timeframe set by the world's leading scientist?

    1. Significant solar and wind power resources are available in Santa Fe County, and the County needs to take advantage of them.  Property tax credits provide one way for the County to incentivize construction and use of renewable energy, and particularly solar power.  To the extent constitutionally permissible, the County can also provide direct financial assistance to homeowners (perhaps through the Affordable Housing Act) for the installation of alternative energy systems.  Generating the electricity is only part of the equation; it also needs to be stored, and I believe the County should investigate the possibility of constructing and maintaining storage facilities as well.

Community Engagement Questions

  1. What are the current needs or issues you see across the state, city, or county and how do you plan on addressing those issues if you are elected?

    1. Maintaining an adequate supply of clean and safe water is always a priority, and it would be my highest priority as a Commissioner.  I would like to see the County taking steps to increase our water recycling capability, including the recycling of effluent to potable water.  As everyone knows, there is also tremendous pressure in the housing market in Santa Fe (including unincorporated parts of the County).  The County should be prepared to make County land available for sensible, sustainable development.  Growth is inevitable, and we have to make sure we do it the right way.

  2. What is your vision of the ideal relationship between communities and environmental/climate justice?

    1. No response to the threat of climate change is complete without recognition and consideration of the fact that the wealthy have benefited from the activities that have caused climate change at the expense of the poor.  Justice demands that the cost of addressing climate change fall primarily on those who most directly caused it.  Fighting climate change also requires a fundamental shift in our concept of what it means to be a consumer, and communities have a vital role to play in making that happen.

  3. What role do you believe communities actively play in policy development? Especially when addressing issues that have been inherited and faced for generations?

    1. One artifact of a representative system of government in which those representatives are elected through a costly process is that policy decisions are often driven by the input of people and corporations who directly benefit from the policy under consideration.  Communities aren't able to change that fact, but they can work to counter the efforts of wealthy interests to further entrench their wealth through policy development.  Communities, working together, can be a powerful force.  The collective action required to be effective requires clear-headed and effective leadership.

  4. What changes will you propose so that community driven solutions have equitable influence over policy-making, and are valued as much if not more than private profit driven solutions?

    1. The change that would most directly address this issue unfortunately faces steep constitutional difficulties: reducing (if not eliminating) the influence of private funding on elections.  For me personally, I place much more stock in community-driven solutions than I do in profit-driven ones.  The more representatives we elect with a similar view, the more influence communities can have in the policy-making arena.

  5. How do you plan on engaging communities and youth in policy development or proposals?

    1. By soliciting input from them and by actually listening to that input.  I am dedicated to ensuring that Santa Fe is the same great place to live and work for my yet-unborn grandchildren.  My thinking is very long term.

  6. Describe your previous experience working on social/health/environmental justice issues, do you have experience working with impacted communities to co-develop solutions?  How will you use this experience to tackle the climate crisis?

    1. My work as a lawyer has not directly touched climate issues, but it has very often put me in the position of fighting for the rights and dignity of the marginalized.  I have, for example, worked on policy changes in the consumer lending space to put a stop to the victimization of those who turn to predatory lenders for what is supposed to be short term financial assistance.  Working with multiple community partners to bring predatory lenders to heal is valuable experience for working with community partners to address climate change.

A Just Transition

  1. What connections do you believe exist between our state/local economy and budget and environmental and climate impacts? How will you work to ensure that the state/local budget fosters economic, environmental, and climate justice?

    1. It is important to ensure that local money is spent on sustainable projects that, to the greatest extent possible, keep that money in the local community.  Projects that send money out of state should not be prioritized over projects that don't.

  2. How do you see the role of oil and gas corporations in New Mexico’s future as a result of the climate crisis?

    1. Diminished.  To the extent existing oil and gas interests are able to shift their research and development away from oil and gas and into renewable energy, those corporations can remain relevant.  But, at bottom, their activities over the last century are one of the biggest reasons we now face a climate crisis.  If they are unable to adapt, they will cease to exist.

  3. Define environmental racism in your own words and provide an example in NM.

    1. As I conceive of it, environmental racism occurs when the detrimental effects of environmental problems are intentionally directed toward minorities who are largely powerless to stop it.  The Terrero mine and the effect it had on the land of those who lived near it is an example of environmental racism in New Mexico.

  4. How will you be playing a role in a just transition away from fossil fuels for NM?

    1. By encouraging at every turn action by the County to make that transition, particularly with the development of the County's renewable energy resources.

  5. Do you believe climate action is an issue of intergenerational justice? What is the responsibility of your generation to the youth and future generations if elected? Explain.

    1. I wouldn't necessarily single climate change out as an issue of intergenerational justice, but that's because I view virtually every decision made by one generation that effects the next generation (or several of them) to be an issue of intergenerational justice.  Regardless, climate change fits that bill.  The decisions made by my generation will have an obvious impact on younger generations.  This is why my thinking is so long term.  My responsibility - elected or not - is to do what I can to preserve our future: to make sure that 50 years from now we still have water and weather patterns conducive to not just survival, but to human flourishing.

  6. How can pollution and contamination impact our youth and communities?

    1. Only negatively.  Pollution and contamination are, by definition, problems.  And they can be problems that linger for decades.

  7. How will you include Traditional Land Based Knowledge when developing policy?

    1. Overlooking the manner in which communities and cultures have successfully lived with the land for centuries is folly.  Pretending that we have nothing to learn from that collective experience and knowledge is hubristic and dangerous.  It is critical to understand how the land has supported human life and how it can be sustained.

  8. If elected, will you support investing some of the money from oil and gas revenues to fund A) dedicated resources for a Just Transition Study to model alternative economic pathways for our state including oil and gas revenue replacement and phase-down          B) create a just transition fund to invest in community-driven climate planning for local economies to divest from harmful industries and build alternative economic visions and investments that effectively contribute to climate mitigation and community health?  Explain.

    1. Yes to both.  A transition to sustainable energy is inevitable.  The only question is how quickly we can make it happen.  Funding serious study of what a post-fossil fuel economy looks like and how to get there is one of the best ways to speed up that transition.

  9. Name specific alternative sources for state/local revenue that you'd pursue and propose if elected

    1. I would like the County to consider ways that it can directly participate in an alternative energy market, from shifting its purchasing of power to sources of renewable energy to becoming a producer itself.

  10. Do you support the development of Hydrogen energy, nuclear energy, and/or carbon capture and sequestration in NM? Why or Why Not?

    1. Carbon capture sequestration is a very promising technology.  New Mexico does not have the same volume of carbon-generating industry that other parts of the United States have, but every bit of carbon mitigation helps.  I'm not sure how viable hydrogen energy is, though I certainly could be persuaded.  Nuclear energy is, of course, a bit of a double-edged sword.  It doesn't release carbon into the atmosphere, but it creates a different waste product that we have, at times, struggled to contain.  That said, nuclear energy could potentially provide a bridge to a post-fossil fuel energy world.

  11. Do you support community ownership of energy where Cities/Counties/Indigenous Nations are able to own, produce, and sell electricity to residents and keep energy dollars local?

    1. Yes, and as the costs of generating solar power continue to decline, it provides a terrific opportunity for exactly this kind of scenario.  The democratization of energy generation makes it possible for small energy markets to become self-sustaining.

  12. What do you believe is the fossil fuel industry/utility’s responsibility for cleanup and how as an elected official in the public office for which you are running do you plan to hold industry accountable for pollution and cleanup?

    1. Their responsibility is obvious.  At the County level, I'm not sure how much can be done to enforce that responsibility, but in those instances where the industry has caused direct harm to the County, there are several legal options available to obtain compensation for that harm.

  13. Do you support the State Land Office’s moratorium/prohibition on new oil and gas leasing on state trust lands within one mile of schools or other educational facilities?  Would you support legislation to create  a public health buffer zone prohibiting oil and gas drilling within one mile of schools on ALL NM lands?

    1. Yes

  14. Have you accepted any donations from fossil fuel companies or utilities? 

    1. No

  15. Can you commit to not accepting donations or funds from fossil fuel companies if you are elected?

    1. Yes

  16. What are your ideas to loosen the grip of industry on the state legislature and strengthen our democracy?

    1. Reducing the effect of money on elections is the most direct way to accomplish those goals.  As I indicated earlier, there are constitutional impediments to doing that, but I believe the state needs to continue efforts to creatively limit the corrupting influence of money on elections.




A disparity exists between services, infrastructure improvements, and quality of life amenities in the different parts of the City. Despite commitments to address inequities in investment and improve services, infrastructure, and amenities  in the area annexed by the City in the area north of Airport Rd, development has been limited to new housing developments. This area of town is already the most densely populated area of the city with the greatest number of households with children and yet there remains no library, no parks, no teen center, no senior center, no community center, no grocery stores, no commercial areas, no public spaces, no centers for arts and culture, no recreation centers. It also has the highest number of immigrants, Hispanics, Indigenous, African Americans and people living in poverty. It was also the most impacted community during the pandemic, having more infections and deaths than any other in Santa Fe. The lack of services and amenities contributed directly to those outcomes.

  1. What are your plans for bringing these needed services and amenities to the area?

    1. The County Commission has little to do with the City's development of land within the City.  To the extent County funds can be used to develop things like parks and public spaces, the County and City should work together to do so.

  2. How can we ensure greater equity in development moving forward?

    1. By focusing that development in traditionally under-served areas.

  3. What level of services and amenities should be present before more housing is built, and how do you determine that?

    1. One way to approach that issue to evaluate the availability of services on a per-capita basis within geographic areas drawn to account for population density.


District 3 borders the industrial zone adjacent to Airport Road and 599, and as such is the most impacted by potential emissions and other toxic pollutants. The area north of Airport Rd, the most densely populated, most diverse and poorest, is the most directly impacted. As it is home to the majority of Santa Fe’s children and youth, as well as an area that is extremely underserved and consequently has higher pre-existing health conditions, the additional risks posed by the industrial zone and proposed expansion is of great concern. This is an Environmental Justice crisis.

  1. How do you propose to mitigate or eliminate these extra risks to our community?

    1. I would need to know more about the proposed expansion of the area and, in particular, the industry or industries potentially slated to be developed there.  But any industrial expansion should only happen after its environmental impacts have been thoroughly examined and steps taken to mitigate those effects.  Input from the members of the communities most affected by emissions is crucial.

  2. Will you support a Cumulative Impacts rule so that proposed new or expanded operations must be reviewed taking into consideration the existing environmental, health and socioeconomic conditions of the impacted communities?

    1. Of course.

  3. Will you support public investments in the area that help mitigate impacts, such as increasing the tree canopy, eliminating pavement and concrete, increasing open space and green areas?

    1. Yes.

  4. If YES, How?*

    1. By thinking creatively about such investment opportunities and taking them when they present themselves.

bottom of page