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Candidate, NM House of Representatives, 44

Kathleen Cates
  • If elected, what specific policies will you pursue in 2023 to begin rapidly transitioning our economy to achieve carbon neutrality in the timeframe set by the world’s leading scientists?

Invest in green energy resources and reduce to eliminate carbon emission's.

  • 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)


  • Do you agree with climate scientists that greenhouse gas emissions must be reversed within 8 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?


  • In your opinion, why do political leaders set benchmarks and timeframes for emissions reductions that do not comport with climate science mandates?

They are unwilling to risk that voters can understand that the economic impact is an investment that will balance and protect our environment. It is not a short term fix and leaders must be able to communicate the value of the investment instead of just denying what most credible environmental scientist have communicated.

  • If elected, what will you do differently than current leadership?

Creating a Task Force that will create a plan and identify companies that complete the work of the green conversion should demographically reflect the community it serves. Will this resolve environmental racism? No, but its a start.

  • What measures will you propose and advance to ensure that economic recovery and the transition to a green economy fosters equity and economic & racial justice?

Government buildings should be the leaders in conversion to green energy sources.

  • If elected, will you support the creation of a Just Transition Study & Fund to identify alternative revenue sources for our state budget and allocate funds from oil and gas directly into community-driven climate mitigation and adaptation strategies? Explain.

Yes-I am a strong believer that economic growth should not require environmental risk. New Mexico will never move forward until we diversify our revenue sources and one of the strongest ways of doing that is investing into green energy sources.

  • If elected, how will you include Indigenous and traditional land-based knowledge in the development of a sustainable economy for all of NM?

Indigenous representation should be required on any decision making committee and identifying New Mexico owned companies that will benefit from the economic invest should take priority.

  • Who will you talk to about climate issues? Who advises you? What is your plan for community consultation on climate issues?

Scientists, Green energy developers, New Mexico Water experts and the community that will be affected by this transition. This includes tribal governments and agricultural families.

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

The lack of investment to provide access to clean water, electricity and wifi in tribal territories. It is identifying land for waste that is located in an area or populated by residents that do not have the decision power.

  • What is the responsibility of your generation to the youth and future generations while in office? Explain.

To create opportunity, leadership and education for youth to participate in the decision making process. All decision groups should reflect the people they serve. This includes but is not limited to racially, gender, cultural back ground, disability and age. I will constantly identify opportunity for young voters to participate and learn our governmental process so they will have a voice and a seat at the table.

  • A) Do you support placing a moratorium on new gas development in the state of New Mexico? Why or Why Not?

There should be a cap on gas development. New Mexico's ability to create revenue from our natural resources should be diversified. An investment on green energy fields, tourism and New Mexico's strong ability to provide vastly different landscapes for the film industry's locations should be increased.

  • B) Do you support placing a moratorium on new gas plant investment for utilities in New Mexico? Why or Why Not?

I believe that there should be caps on how many sites or gas plants there are in New Mexico. For a new site or investment they will need to provide documented, inspected closures with environmentally approved caps before they can invest in any further sites.

  • Do you support nuclear energy? Why or Why Not?

I support the current safe, regulated nuclear energy which can provide the energy we need as we move away from fossil fuels and ramp up our green energy development. It should be a temporary bridge. As clean as nuclear energy is it creates a life threatening waste, we are at risk if we invest in expanding our nuclear footprint.

  • Do you support the development of Hydrogen Production Hubs here in New Mexico? Why or Why Not?

I am still reading and seeking more data on this energy source before I formulate an opinion. If there is any positive approach to this issue it should require a clear and well documented process that is held accountable.

  • 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?

If municipalities or tribal territories have demonstrated their abilities to consistently provide electricity and can live up to the rate locks and environmental protections-yes.

  • 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?

They absolutely should be held accountable with consequences that should start with financial penalties but could end with the loss of their ability to conduct business in New Mexico

  • Do you support utility bill forgiveness for low-income New Mexicans who have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis?


  • Some are saying that COVID-19 is the dress rehearsal for the climate crisis. In fact, in many places throughout the world, the two are compounding crises. What do you think we can learn from the COVID-19 crisis when addressing the climate crisis?

We do not need to drive to work every day or gather in densely populated urban areas.

  • Describe your previous experience working on social/health/environmental 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 nonprofit executive for several organizations that provide services for individuals with disabilities. I have also been a nonprofit consultant for several animal and environmental protection organizations, veterans groups and tribal territories. I spend time with the people I serve to direct me on what I can do to support their needs. I do not assume the people I serve are children and I know what is best. I work with the groups so I have some experience in their environments and spend time gathering data so people have a voice and are able to contribute to solutions.

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

Diversify the State's revenue sources so that Industry does not have such a loud voice.

  • Name specific alternative sources for state revenue that you'd pursue and propose if elected

Green energy, pursuit of location shooting for the film industry and hospitality industry.

  • Have you accepted any donations from fossil fuel companies or utilities? Yes/No



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