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Incumbent, New Mexico State Senate
District 38

Carrie Hamblen

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. I will continue to advocate for jobs in clean energy, making EV's available to *every* New Mexican, reducing our dependence on Oil and Gas, and creating more healthy economic opportunities to those communities  that  are  directly impacted by extractive  industries. 

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. Creating jobs that keep families together instead of them having to leave the state, making sure rural communities have healthy soil, air, and water, access to medical care, and increased transportation.  And, continuing to protect our air, land,  and water. 

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

    1. I believe communities, especially black,  brown, and indigenous communities, should be the drivers for change.  Their voices should be at the table, expressing their specific needs, and the  legislature follow  through with addressing those needs in a timely manner.  For too long, there is a lot of talk  with little  action.  I have always believed we need to listen to those communities and create policy that positively impacts them, not the other  way around. 

  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. I have always believed we need to listen to those communities and create policy that positively impacts them, not the other  way around.  But many of my colleagues think  they know what is best instead of asking those impacted communities  what are their needs, not recognizing that every part of the state is unique and has different needs.  We need to actually *listen* to the communities in creating logical and practical policy that addresses those needs and holds those creating the crisis accountable. 

  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. That's a hard question to answer because we still have people in the legislature who like the "old"  way of doing politics, which,  in fact,  haven't worked for our residents for decades.  But, because we don't have term limits, many of those are still occupying office.  So, I see that first, we need to get folks in office that will open that  door for those voices to actually be heard and respected.  Then, have us like-minded legislators who see the systemic racism that is obstructing the climate discussion,  collaborate with communities to create effective policy that actually helps  people rather  than punish them. 

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

    1. As a legislator that will continue to advocate for 16-year olds to vote, I believe young people are going to save this planet because my generation and those before me have screwed it up and aren't acting quickly enough.  I am always open to conversations and guidance on effective  policies that  will  address climate change and welcome the expertise and lived experiences of people directly experiencing  the horrible effects of climate change. 

  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 first legislative session,  I voted against one of my Democratic colleagues bills that negatively impacted the Navajo Nation.  The bill sponsor did not  communicate with the community directly affected by this bill and spoke up about it in committee.  I sit on the Conservation committee and will  continue to advocate/vote for bills  that are moving us toward reducing our impact on the earth and the damage we are doing  to  her.  I  will depend on grassroots advocates, who have been living and breathing the data, experiences, and challenges  of climate change, and craft policy that will remove those  barriers to living healthy,  working  healthy,  and giving back to  their community so  it can thrive.  I have  worked with many of the conservation/environmental groups but am especially moved by the efforts  of our younger population.  

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. I believe that we have to look not only at the economic connections but the  societal connections as  well, like access to mental health, transportation, educational opportunities, and others  when we talk about creating meaningful change.  If  we try to focus on one element of that  equation, we do a disservice  to communities by thinking there is just one solution.  I continue to talk about creating local and state industries to not only employ our own but to reduce our carbon footprint we create when using out of state services and goods.  I will advocate for economic support of our outdoor industries, protecting our public lands, and making sure our most vulnerable are taken care of before the most fortunate. 

  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. they are assholes.  They  don't want to be accountable for the damage they have caused and force the state to take them to court in order for that justice to have some resolution.  I believe we need to continue to hold them accountable, reduce their ability to extract a finite resource from our earth, and make them acknowledge the damage they have done to communities of color, which we know are the most silenced in the climate crisis discussion yet the most impacted. 

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

    1. In southern New Mexico, we have a situation in the most  southern part of my district where  the water association providing drinking water to mainly Hispanic/Latinx communities has been laced with unhealthy levels of arsenic.  So, the county is complacent in not acting more aggressively in correcting the water and actually *think* providing bottled water one day a week is just and fair.  It's not.  My definition of environmental racism is: Actions or policies designed to ignore community concerns and needs with the main intent to harm communities of color, those who are not white or wealthy,  and whose sole purpose is to make a profit off of the backs of those living in poverty. 

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

    1. As much as I want to reduce our dependence on oil and gas tomorrow, I also understand the reality of completely discontinuing it will have  far greater impacts.  I believe it is  our job as legislators to create jobs in the renewable/clean energy industry so that  those who are working  in oil  and gas actually have an income to support their families  and put  food  on their tables.  So, I will  support the creation of new jobs, supporting industries that will help communities  while addressing our energy needs (not blue or any color hydrogen), and working on creating opportunities for job training  in high paying jobs that will provide a good quality of life  for every New  Mexican, regardless of their citizenship status. 

  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. As mentioned before,  I believe my generation (I'm 56) and those  before me have not done our due diligence to protect the planet.  In all honesty,  my idea of  saving the planet  when I was  a kid was  recycling  my dad's beer  cans and not  letting the water run while I was  brushing  my teeth.  But,  we have come so far in understanding what is negatively impacting our planet.   I  frequently say that young people are going  to save our planet because they know THEY are the ones inheriting a really REALLY shitty situation.  I believe the responsibility of  my generation is to provide the resources  and access  to creating that change that  is driven by youth and future generations. 

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

    1. We are already seeing young people develop  asthma and breathing complications at a young age because of  poor air  quality.  We are seeing folks with diabetes and high cholesterol because of lack of access to healthy food because  of poor soil and water.  We are seeing young people being raised 150 yards from an oil rig with no access to adequate  health care.  And yet, when we look at those communities exhibiting those symptoms  and health issues, what many fail to notice  is  there is a deliberate effort to target those  whose voices  are ignored.   They HAVE  a voice but are not given the chance  to express their concerns  and needs or are ignored when they do. 

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

    1. I sponsored the Healthy Food Financing Initiative that  supports funding black, brown, and indigenous farmers, mainly women, who have the capabilities  to grow healthy food.  We (those of us who are not indigenous) have seriously screwed up how we grow our food, how we use our resources, and how plan for the future.  I wish more sustainable  practices,  many that originate from traditional land use and respect, were incorporated  into our farming and stewardship of the land.  Recognizing the  work of  those farmers who manage  the  acequias and water  resources, planting foods that nurture the soil while providing food, and the value that we are stewards of mother  earth, not entitled beneficiaries of her generosity. 

  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. Absolutely. 

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

    1. One source  isn't going to take the  place of the  oil and gas industry so we have  to look  at numerous options.  I believe legalized cannabis is one factor but also focusing on outdoor recreation (working with groups like The Semilla Project), determining what resources  we outsource and create a workforce addressing those needs that  employs our residents, and supporting the renewable energy industry. 

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

    1. Nope.  It's  still extractive, still allows for industries to pull resources from the earth, and isn't harnessing the natural resources we can use to provide power to our communities. 

  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.  I sponsored (and will continue) to sponsor the Local Choice Energy Bill that allows communities  to buy energy from investor owned utilities and sell it to their customers  for less.  Even though PNM and El Paso Electric are against it, I will continue to bring that  forward as long as I am in office.  I will also sponsor in this upcoming session the Low Income Solar Act that will incentivize developers of apartments  and multi-unit complexes to put solar  on their buildings  and pass the utility savings  on to the tenants. 

  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. I do believe it's the industry's  responsibility to clean up their  mess.  They have benefited and profited from it  since the 1930's without any accountability for the aftermath.  I will continue to support legislation that requires cleanup of abandoned mines/oil rigs, reduce flaring,  and clean up of  aquifers and water  sources. 

  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. We need a paid legislature so Senators and Representatives aren't beholden to lobbyists.  Paying legislators  will also open the door for folks who aren't retired, independently wealthy, or have a job that allows them time  off to serve, to consider running for office.  This would also open the door  for voices that reflect the majority of residents  to have  influence on future  policy that will positively impact our state.    

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