Candidate, US House of Representatives, NM CD1
Melanie Stansbury https://www.melaniefornm.com
Do you agree with climate scientists that we are facing a climate emergency?
Do you agree with climate scientists that greenhouse gas emissions must be reversed within 10 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? If elected, what will you do differently than current leadership?
We must set clear and ambitious benchmarks and timeframes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to prevent catastrophic climate change.
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?
Providing a just transition means ensuring that meaningful climate action goes hand-in-hand with supporting fostering equity and economic and racial justice in our communities by creating new economic opportunities and good-paying jobs. In Congress, I will work to pass legislation that uses a comprehensive and community-based approach to addressing climate change by establishing ambitious targets and supporting a just transition for New Mexico’s workers, families, and communities.
Who will you talk to about climate issues? Who advises you? What is your plan for community consultation on climate issues?
Yes, I have spent my career dedicated to science-focused work on water and natural resource issues, both on a statewide and national scale. I worked in the U.S. Senate and Office of Management and Budget on land and water issues, with Tribes across the country, and on the President’s climate action plan. In Congress, I will work with our communities to address climate change, develop more renewable energy, ensure our water security, clean air, and the preservation of our public lands.
Do you pledge to co-sponsor the Green New Deal? Why or Why Not?
Yes, The Green New Deal outlines specific climate protection goals and policies that can help us get there. I support the framework detailed in the Green New Deal, and in Congress, I will work to implement those policies and expand further from there.
Do you support the Biden administration's Pause on Fracking and do you think New Mexico should adhere to the pause just like all other states? Why or Why Not?
Yes, it’s critical that we take a pause and look at what they were doing to decide whether this right for climate policy, right for public lands, and right for the economy. I support the pause on new fracking leases and I don't think that it is appropriate to exempt New Mexico. It's also important that we take a hard look at how we must address climate change, reduce our carbon footprint, protect our land and water, and transition our economy to a more sustainable, just, and resilient economy.
Do you support the THRIVE Agenda? Why or Why Not?
Yes, my stance on a renewable energy future is best stated in Rep. Deb Haaland’s THRIVE Resolution of 2020, which resolves that “It is the duty of the Federal Government to respond to the crises of racial injustice, mass unemployment, a pandemic, and climate change with a bold and holistic national mobilization, an Agenda to Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy (‘‘THRIVE’’).” My plan would use three central pillars as a guide. Firstly, we need a target of 100-percent clean energy, including through clean electricity standards and aggressive economy-wide emission reduction targets. Secondly, a worker-focused approach is imperative to building a clean future which includes good-paying, high quality jobs. Thirdly, a commitment to environmental justice action is vital. States have already taken preliminary steps to develop policies that would advance environmental justice, including by identifying and cutting disproportionately high levels of toxic pollution in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities and communities of color.
Do you support the FRAC pack? Why or Why Not?
Yes, I think it is imperative that we require companies to disclose the chemicals injected underground, and apply regulations under the SDWA to hydraulic fracturing operations as well.
Do you support a moratorium on utility shut-offs and utility debt forgiveness? Why or Why Not?
Yes, growing up in a community where so many struggle, I know what it’s like to not know how you’ll make it to the end of the month. Many families in New Mexico have, for years, had to choose between putting food on the table or keeping the lights on. Since the pandemic hit, many working families have relied on moratoriums to avoid that difficult decision. Or moratorium on utility shut-offs and utility debt forgiveness would give hurting families dignity and more economic mobility.
What are your ideas to Build Back Better?
Yes, my vision for the future is a more just, equitable, and resilient planet where all communities and all people can thrive. In Congress, I will continue to fight to address hunger, homelessness, and water insecurity, for access to healthcare and broadband, and for social and economic justice. My number one priority will be to tackle the most significant challenge of our time: which is global climate change and systemic inequality.
If elected, what other specific policies will you initiate and support in your first year of service to transition our economy to net zero carbon emissions in the timeframe set by the world’s leading scientists?
In Congress, I will work to pass legislation that uses a comprehensive and community-based approach to addressing climate change. I will push for legislation at the federal level that does what our Climate Solutions Act aimed to do in New Mexico, which is to set trailblazing carbon-reduction goals while establishing a framework to protect New Mexico’s natural environment, foster economic development and diversification, and grow new technologies, industries, and jobs.
Have you accepted any donations from fossil fuel companies or utilities?