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Incumbent, New Mexico House of Representatives
District 48

Tara Lujan
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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. This will be my fourth year of service. I have worked on several pieces of legislation to aide in climate justice initiatives to help diversify the states economy away from fossil fuel extractive energy sources. I will continue to work on polices that will create a strategy and plan to further diversify our economy.






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. We need to work collectively through every stakeholder federal state and local government and to ensure that we are all working towards solutions to address climate crisis issues that are affecting our air, water, and land. We have to stop working in silos and create a strategy to meet the goals we have set for net 0 carbon emissions initiative. Focusing on and with communities that are at most risk and vulnerable.

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

    1. My vision is to have a collaborate initiative as previously addressed for our most vulnerable and at risk communities.

  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. They have to be at the forefront of our discussions and policy initiatives. Their voice has to be represented through the polices we are creating. We need to protect that and guide our policy initiatives.

  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. By being inclusive and collaborative and addressing our justice issues with all stakeholders.

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

    1. By meeting with and including them in my policy initiatives.

  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. Yes, in my first year in office, I held a youth summit which included youth justice advocates and even members of YUCCA and others who participated in a panel discussion about climate justice issues. I have an open door policy and have met with and continue to meet with youth advocates regarding climate justice policies. I will continue to have outreach and engagement with these organizations and advocates. I also have participated in climate conventions and have been an advocate and continue to work with everyone to find the best solutions.

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 am a member of the House Appropriations committee and work to ensure that our state dollars are being used in the best way and ensuring that budget policies/initiatives are vetted and making sure that I am holding policy makers accountable for green washed policies and standing up for real climate justice policies.

  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. That's a huge conversation because as much as were working towards solutions to diversify our economy, the oil and gas industry will continue to thrive in a global economic market until we work on diversifying economies globally because the demand for energy has a tenfold growth trajectory. New Mexico is crucial as an energy state to develop energy policy strategies that will impact how energy markets will have to diversify their portfolios. This is why we need to create a statewide plan and strategy of how we diversify away from the industry.

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

    1. Environmental racism is a discrimination against vulnerable socio-economical communities who have been most impacted by the negative effects of extractive industries throughout history and those most vulnerable, being native and indigenous, Spano Latino communities who are minority/marginalized ethnic groups. An example is our Native American communities in the Northwest region of our state and our indigenous Navajo nation, that have been impacted by the uranium mining and also our minority communities in Trinity, New Mexico that are affected and who are never fully compensated for the effect of the industries that harm them.

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

    1. By focusing on policies that are going to produce planning and strategies with all stakeholders in a holistic way, so all voices are included.

  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. Intergenerational climate justice is a multilayered approach that includes and addresses the responsibility for past, present, and future generations to work towards solutions to protect our environment and natural resources. That said, as a policy maker and a member of Gen X, I have taken the responsibility to focus on the intersection of climate and environmental justice to climate mitigation strategies to preserve and protect our land and air for future generations. It is a moral responsibility shared among generations.

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

    1. It has a negative impact and it's our responsibility to mitigate and control those harms and implement policies that will protect our communities, especially those most vulnerable.

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

    1. By respecting all land rights and sovereign nations. And having respect for traditional values and rights of landowners.

  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. Both options are being discussed now as policy and all stakeholders have to be involved in these policy strategies. These are very valuable and viable policy options that deserve to be fully developed and integrated into policy initiatives.

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

    1. There is lots, but we have diversified our economy through tax incentives through our film industry and through new economic initiatives like legalizing cannabis and economic incentives for renewable energy development and modernizing our electric grid system. These are steps we have taken, however we have to have a bigger economic development plan in order to meet the diversification goals we have.

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

    1. I support green hydrogen industry, I have not supported the fossil fuel hydrogen industries. Carbon sequestration technology has to be further developed and proven, which it has yet to meet standards.

  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

  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. Yes, they need to be held accountable and responsible. I have worked on polices that do just that and will continue to work on polices to hold them accountable. I will also work against polices that protect industries from begin held accountable. I did some work against the stripper wells in this last legislation cycle and I have supported funding for our state agencies who are responsible for enforcing and enacting in methane rules and I have worked and been sponsored on legislation for the green amendment.

  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. To continue to work with legislatures towards just polices as mentioned and demonstrated through policy I have sponsored throughout my time in offi

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