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Candidate, New Mexico House Of Representatives
District 43

Chris Luchini

Climate Science-Based Policy

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

    • 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)

    • I think that the impact on the first world is greatly underestimated.

  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

    • 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?

    • Severance taxes on GHG extractive industries should be increased very significantly, to match the externalized costs associated with GHG Small energy producer should get the same access to the grid that large producers do, and consumers should be able to purchase energy from whatever producer they choose. Vertical integration within industries results in quasi monopolistic economies.

    • Transportation is a huge producer of ghg, as well as being extremely vital to the velocity of the economy. 6 to 10 plug-in hybrid vehicles, for each pure EV.

    • All state subsidies for pure electric vehicles should be eliminated. Subsidies for PHEV should be limited to tax abatement for installation of charging points.

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?

    • NM has enormous budget surpluses, that are being used for political empire building. The state should pay off its debts, fully fund the pera retirement system, and then terminate it for future participation. Non-Refundable tax credits for reduction of ghg emissions infrastructure, and build out of a nuclear power industry in New Mexico would be the next priority.

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

    • I don't understand the question.

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

    • Public engagement is low, because the public sees that their input is almost universally ignored. This is true for all issues. 

    • Environmental policy has too often been promoted as advertising the disaster scenario, and then giving poverty and misery as the only solution. Solution. A positive message for wealth and prosperity, associated with eliminating the pollution that is ghg emission is needed.

  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?

    • Socialism is not the answer. Government has a horrible track record at picking winners in technology, the best it can do is get out of the way. Government is very good at inhibiting and or destroying things, and in this way it's only real role is to make the mission of ghgs expensive compared to the rest of the market. Let government do what it does. Best, and let private industry innovate solutions. 

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

    • If elected I would plan on speaking at schools and universities as a regular ongoing series of events. 

  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?

    • I have worked as a volunteer in assisting victims of domestic violence, and in women-centric spaces dealing with the same issue.

    • I'm not sure that that experience is in any way relevant to dealing with climate crisis. The problem of climate issues are those of incentives, and cost shifting, the tragedy of the commons, and the solutions are technical, political, and bureaucratic. 


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?

    • You get less of what you tax, and regulate, and more of what you subsidize. 

    • Our state it's poor in large part because it taxes services,. Services are the single greatest way to increase wealth without increasing ghg. Elimination of the gross receipts tax on services would be a first priority. This this tax also disproportionately affects people at the lower part of the socioeconomic ladder. 

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

    • Oil and gas Will be a part of the New Mexico economy for a few more years, but will by necessity decrease, as the use of fossil fuels decreases.

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

    • No

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

    • Non fossil fuel-based energy needs to not be just the luxury choice of the wealthy. Providing tax abatements, via property tax. For instance, for homeowner installation of solar electric, solar thermal systems for homeowners would be one area of legislative interest to.

  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.

    • In pretty much all political systems, older people are in charge of the levers of power. So in that sense, it is up to the older people use their power to combat ghg emissions.

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

    • For some reason, many people have a blind spot in that they don't recognize GHG emissions as pollution. Unlike most other forms of pollution, it is ultimately diffuse, affecting everyone, without respecting geographic boundaries. 

    • All pollution is bad. Youth will have to deal with all forms of pollution much longer than the old, so in that way they are disproportionately affected.

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

    • I will not. This is a matter for science, not folk wisdom.

  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.

    • I would support efforts to transition State government revenue away from extractive ghg producing industries. 

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

    • Growing a service economy. There is an incredible amount of technical talent in this state, and by personal experience, I know that the startups created by those people always leave the state due to our tax structure.

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

    • I support nuclear energy, and believe that a ammonia economy is much more likely to be implemented in the short-term than hydrogen. Hydrogen. I don't believe that I, or any other elected official should be in the position of promoting a particular technology over any other tech. Well, I may be qualified, given my background, to have opinions in this area, the market is the ultimate arbiter of success. 

    • I will say that carbon sequestration is batshit crazy. It is absolutely insane to think that you're going to remove CO2 from the atmosphere without putting more energy into that process than was liberated when you burned the carbon to produce the CO2 in the first place. It doesn't pass kindergarten math. It is a fraud, a grift, to get government money into a program that has precisely zero chance of ever working.

  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?

    • Absolutely not. The best way to produce efficient electrical power systems is to separate generation from transmission, from consumption. The only True Monopoly is transmission, and the Texas model of ercot is one that can be studied to inform a legislative solution to the vertical integration that leads to so much inefficiency in our electrical system in this state state. 

  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?

    • It's the consumer that is Ultimately responsible for ghg emissions. The fossil fuel industry is simply the enabler. It's much easier to demonize that other entity over there, then recognize that our own behavior is what is driving this crisis. 

      To the extent that there are methane leaks, or coal ash toxic waste sites, yes, those are the direct responsibility of those corporations, and they should be forced to clean them up immediately. Without any Grace period or leniency

  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?

    • No.

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

    • No.

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

    • Yes.

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

    • You have a one-party state, in New Mexico. Breaking up the duopoly and getting fresh political legislators that do not adhere to the Paleolithic policies of the legacy parties would be a good start. 

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