Candidate, NM House District 27
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 12 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?
There wlll be painful choices and changes in people's lives to obtain the drastic cuts that we need to do to meet the greenhouse gases reduction goal. Politicians primary goal is to win re-election. Therefore, many are afraid that they will lose if they support the targets.
If elected, what specific policies will you initiate in your first year of service to begin transitioning our economy to net zero carbon emissions in the timeframe set by the world’s leading scientists?
Transition as quickly as possible to an all-electric State Vehicle Fleet; Increase royalty fees on oil and gas to at least 25%(Texas' rate); require full bonding for the cost of well closure; tight regulations on methane flares and enough inspectors to do the appropriate follow-up
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?
Promote Sun and wind production where farms and windmills tend to be located so rural folks can get new jobs; invest in statewide broadband to increase rural access to health, education and the economy
If elected, will you support the creation of a Just Transition Study & Fund to identify alternative revenue sources for our state budget and invest in community-driven climate mitigation and adaptation strategies? Explain.
If elected, how will you include Indigenous and traditional land-based knowledge in the development of a sustainable economy for all of NM?
By seeking advice and counsel from those groups as we look at all possibilities for developing a sustainable economy
Who will you talk to about climate issues? Who advises you? What is your plan for community consultation on climate issues?
I would talk to anyone who wants to give me their opinion. Science supports those who are concerned about the future of our climate so those voices would carry more weight with me. That would certainly include those groups that often do not have a seat at the table.
Define environmental racism in your own words and provide an example in NM
The economic advantages of energy productions are enjoyed by those who are already economically privileged and the economy damage rests disproportionally on those who are not. Uranium mining comes to mind.
Do you believe climate action is an issue of intergenerational justice? What is the responsibility of your generation to the youth and future generations while in office? Explain.
Yes. Our generation cannot continue to ignore the issue. The true impact will be felt by the later generations.
A) Do you support placing a moratorium on new gas development in the state of New Mexico? Why or Why Not?
There is currently an economically driven oil and gas moratorium. I support an economic driven moratorium by increasing the cost of fracking by increasing royalties, ensuring complete expense bonding for well closures and strict and enforceable methane flaring regulations.
B) Do you support placing a moratorium on new gas plant investment for utilities in New Mexico? Why or Why Not?
I don't know as i would need to understand the environmental and actual fiscal impact of a moratorium. As stated above, I favor an economically driven moratorium. We need to ensure that this State has adequate energy production so, in the short term, we may need new gas plant investment.
Do you support nuclear energy? Why or Why Not?
No. Risk of a catastrophe is still too high as it is greater than zero, we don't have any safe way to store the wastes and the cost is too great.. Once those problems are solved, I would re-evaluate my opinion.
Do you support a competitive energy market where Cities/Counties/Indigenous Nations are able to own, produce, and sell electricity to residents and keep energy dollars local?
Yes, in principle. Any legislation would have to at the overall impact of keeping the income locally. For example, would road building and maintenance remain a state expense? We, in the State, are in this all together and we need to ensure that income is allocated fairly to all communities, certainly including the indigenous communities.
Community Solar legislation has been brought up multiple times in the last few years. What is your position on community solar and what will you do to ensure that community solar is prioritized and passes?
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?
AS stated earlier, we need to ensure bonding for the full cost of any clean-up and closure of wells and mines.
Do you believe bonding rates for industry should cover the full cost of cleanup?
We have seen the oil industry collapse over the last month, with oil prices nosediving. Given our current situation and the danger our state’s budget is in, how do you see the role of oil and gas corporations in New Mexico’s future?
As state dealer, now is the time of rid ourselves on the dependency on oil and gas. Towards that end, I would work for increased royalties, full bonding of clear-up and strict and enforceable rules on methane flaring. We need to make our State not oil and gas friendly.
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?
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?
What are your ideas to loosen the grip of industry on the state legislature and strengthen our democracy?
Stronger campaign finance laws and a push for true public financing. The loosening of the industry grip will actually come from electing more legislators committed to mitigating our climate change risk
Name specific alternative sources for state revenue that you'd pursue and propose if elected
Legislation of marijuana, close look at our various industry subsidies to see their net worth to the State, a more progressive tax system.
Have you accepted any donations from fossil fuel companies or utilities? Yes/No
Will you take the #fossilfree pledge?