Two members of NM environmental board recuse themselves from cap and trade debate

From Capitol Report New Mexico - Two members of the newly-constituted Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) recused themselves on Monday (Oct. 3) from an upcoming review that could potentially roll back the cap and trade regulations the previous EIB passed at the end of the Bill Richardson administration. In response to a series of complaints made by the environmental group called the New Energy Economy (NEE), EIB members James Casciano and Greg Fulfer announced at the monthy board meeting Monday they’ll step aside because of a possible appearance of being less than impartial. Before being appointed to the newly-installed board by current Gov. Susana Martinez, both Casciano and Fulfer had expressed their opposition to the greenhouse gas emissions standards. “I try to do what’s best for the state of New Mexico,” Fulfer told the board. ”I’m going to recuse myself.” Fulfer is the son-in-law of Sen. Carroll Leavell (R-Jal), who has expressed his opposition to the new environmental regulations. After the meeting, Fulfer told Capitol Report New Mexico that last year as chairman of the county commission in Hobbs, he had made a public comment opposing cap and trade. Fulfer said his decision Monday “would help preserve the integrity of the board.” As for Casciano, he had sent an e-mail to the the EIB last year stating his opposition to cap and trade. “It was too directly related to the issues under appeal,” Casciano said after the meeting. “I didn’t want to take away from the perception of fairness of the rest of the board.” The lawyer for NEE, Bruce Frederick, said he was happy with the decisions by Casciano and Fulfer. “They did the right thing,” Frederic said. “They have integrity. It was a classy move.” NEE had also called for EIB chairwoman Deborah Peacock to step down as well, claiming she is biased towards overturning the regulations but Peacock said at Monday’s meeting there is no reason for her recuse herself. “I have never discussed any outcome,” Peacock told board members. “I can be fair and impartial.” Read more


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