New Mexico, the Enchanted State, is home to 2 million people and its 121 thousand miles include deserts, mountains, forests, and rivers. First colonized by Spain and,  it became a US territory in 1853, and finally a state in 1912. The Pueblo peoples have lived in what is now New Mexico continuously for over 1000 years, and today Pueblo lands span over eight counties and more than 2 million acres

Extreme heat presents an urgent threat to New Mexico and, along with it, droughts and wildfires. By the end of this century, summers in Carlsbad Caverns National Park are projected to be 13 degrees hotter. The number of days per year with dangerous levels of heat is expected to double in New Mexico, which has the second highest child poverty rate in the country. With warmer temperatures, demand for water will increase while its availability will decrease. Like the direct health effects of extreme heat, water insecurity will affect the most vulnerable the most acutely. Native communities, in particular, face extremely dangerous conditions as 30% of the people on Navajo Nation must haul water to meet their daily needs. This is yet another example of the fact that those who have contributed the least to climate change are most acutely impacted, a phenomenon that like colonization, many have argued, constitutes genocide. 

The industrial sector and transportation sector account for the vast majority of New Mexico’s net energy consumption, ranking in the top 25% of states according to per capita use. The residential sector, by contrast, ranks in the bottom third of states by per capita consumption. New Mexico is one of the top natural gas producers in the US, and in 2018 accounted for 4% of the country’s natural gas production. New Mexico has three active coal mines that collectively account for 1% of the total mined coal in the US. Within the state, coal continues to be the main source of electricity accounting for, in 2018, 40% of New Mexico’s electricity, the first time that it had been below half. The potential of wind and solar energy in New Mexico is extremely promising, and wind energy accounted for almost a fifth of the state’s electricity use in 2019

In May of 2019, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Energy Transition Act, which set a path for the state to transition away from coal. The ETA set a state-wide renewable energy standard of 50% renewable energy by 2030 and 80% by 2040. In 2019, New Mexico’s Interagency Climate Change Task Force presented initial recommendations for statewide climate mitigation and adaptation strategies. The report focuses on greenhouse gas reduction, public health, emergency preparedness and management, and water availability.

New Mexico is one of twenty four states, plus Puerto Rico, committed to the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors, created in 2017, committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.


Task force releases plan to manage water amid climate change

By Scott Wyland 02/10/23
A state task force released a report Friday outlining actions that government leaders, communities and individual users can take to better manage New Mexico’s water supply, which is expected to decrease sharply as the climate…
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199 drilling permits blocked

By Joseph Winters 02/08/23
Tribal nations and environmental groups in the U.S. Southwest scored a victory last week when a federal appeals court rejected nearly 200 new oil and gas drilling permits in the Greater Chaco region of New…
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Study says New Mexico turning blind eye to several large polluters in climate change policy

By Megan Myscofski 02/05/23
New Mexico lawmakers are leaving many large polluters out of climate change policy, according to a new report from the University of New Mexico and PSE Healthy Energy, a nonprofit research institute. And many of…
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The “Law of the River” at the heart of the Colorado River crisis

By Hayley Smith and Ian James 02/03/23
It’s a crisis nearly 100 years in the making: Seven states — all reliant on a single mighty river as a vital source of water — failed to reach an agreement this week on how…
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As the Colorado River shrinks, Washington prepares to spread the pain

By Christopher Flavelle 01/27/23
The seven states that rely on the river for water are not expected to reach a deal on cuts. It appears the Biden administration will have to impose reductions.
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Oil leases in New Mexico could worsen climate change, should be canceled, lawsuit argues

By Adrian Hedden 01/27/23
A lawsuit challenged thousands of acres of public land leased to the oil and gas industry in southeast New Mexico, amid pressure from environmental groups in the state to see the federal government tighten restrictions…
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In California’s Imperial Valley, farmers brace for a future with less Colorado River water

By Ian James 01/27/23
Just north of the California-Mexico border, the All-American Canal cuts across 80 miles of barren, dune-swept desert. Up to 200 feet wide and 20 feet deep, the canal delivers the single largest share of Colorado…
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The Colorado River is overused and shrinking. Inside the crisis transforming the Southwest

By Ian James and Molly Hennessy-Fiske 01/26/23
The Colorado River begins as melting snow, trickling from forested peaks and coursing in streams that gather in the meadows and valleys of the Rocky Mountains. Like arteries, its major tributaries take shape across Colorado,…
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A river guide’s view of Lake Powell’s decline and the depths of the Colorado River crisis

By Ian James 01/26/23
Muddy water whizzed past as John Weisheit steered a motorboat upstream in the Colorado River. He revved the engine as the boat sped around a bend and up a riffle.
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Energy and environment bills to watch during New Mexico’s 2023 Legislative Session

Adrian Hedden 01/19/23
Protecting New Mexico from pollution while shifting the state away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy were among key priority of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and her supporters in the legislature.
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New Mexico HVDC transmission line to carry 4 GW of renewable energy

By Anne Fischer 01/18/23
New Mexico North Path will help unlock a share of what its local energy authority has estimated is $11 billion of untapped renewable energy investment potential in the state.
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Wish You Were Here. Ignore the Floods and Fires.

By Lydia DePellis 12/10/22
Climate change is reshaping the American economy. New Mexico is leaning on ecotourism and sustainable industries to see it through, but extreme weather keeps getting in the way....
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New Mexico oil drilling permits thwarted by tribe, greens

A federal appeals court said the government inappropriately ignored the dangers of hazardous air pollutants when issuing permits to drill oil and gas wells in northwestern New Mexico, in what environmental groups say is a…

There’s almost unlimited clean, geothermal energy under our feet. New tech could help unleash that potential in New Mexico.

Canadian company Eavor Inc. drilled an 18,000-foot well bore this past fall in southwest New Mexico to prove it could hammer its way through deep-underground, hard-granite rock to reach previously untapped geothermal energy.

New Mexico lawmakers advance bill to fund response to climate change, extreme weather

A bill addressing climate change in New Mexico with the expenditure of millions of state funds passed out of its first committee Monday on a 7-2 vote by lawmakers.

Powerful clean-energy line to crisscross NM

A $2 billion, 400-mile clean-energy transmission line planned for northern New Mexico became an official “public-private” project this week, significantly boosting its development prospects.

New Mexico Is Riding A Breeze

Having only recently christened its biggest wind power project to date, New Mexico is poised for new investments that are primed to vault the state into a leadership position in wind energy generation. Regulatory approvals…

Regulatory approval for SunZia Transmission paves the way for a Southwest renewable energy corridor

Pattern Energy Group, a renewable energy developer, announced its SunZia Transmission project received the approval of the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) to build a 550-mile high voltage direct current transmission line from New Mexico to…

EPA’s revised methane rule would impose tougher fossil fuel measures

The Environmental Protection Agency issued a revised version of its proposed methane rule Friday that would impose tougher measures on the fossil fuel industry than an earlier draft of the regulations aimed at curbing the…

New Mexico projects set to get $230 million in funding from Congress

New Mexico residents stand to benefit from a $1.5 trillion federal spending bill signed Tuesday by President Joe Biden — with more than $230 million designated for about 85 projects throughout the state. The omnibus…

Will Pattern Continue Investments in New Mexico after Western Spirit Wind?

Gwynne Ann Unruh is an award-winning reporter formerly of the Alamosa Valley Courier, an independent paper in southern Colorado. She covers the environment for The Paper.

New Mexico AG Joins Coalition In Defense Of Federal Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards For Light-Duty Vehicles

Attorney General Hector Balderas, as part of a coalition of attorneys general and cities and counties, filed a motion Tuesday to intervene in defense of federal greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) standards for light-duty vehicles.

NM wind project creating the ‘Route 66 of renewable energy’

Guadalupe, Lincoln and Torrance counties are now collectively supporting the electricity needs of nearly 1 million people through a massive new wind farm and transmission line in central New Mexico.

Hydrogen power demanded by New Mexico governor via executive order, despite objections

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is trying again to establish her state as a national leader in “clean” hydrogen energy, directing her cabinet agencies to seek funding and projects to grow the sector as…

New Mexico, coalition of mountain west states sign MOU to develop a regional clean hydrogen hub

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday joined the governors of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming in announcing that they will compete jointly for a portion of the $8 billion allocated in the federal Infrastructure Investment and…

Pattern Energy begins operations at New Mexico wind projects

US-based renewable energy firm Pattern Energy Group has completed and begun commercial operations at its Western Spirit Wind suite of power projects in New Mexico.

Pattern Energy completes New Mexico wind project

Pattern Energy officials announced Thursday that the Western Spirit Wind project has started commercial operations. The company had billed it as the largest single-phase construction of renewable power in the U.S.

BLM lease sale seeks to expand geothermal energy in New Mexico

As part of an effort to increase renewable energy, the Bureau of Land Management will hold a virtual geothermal lease sale this fall for three parcels totaling nearly 4,000 acres. These parcels are located in…

10,000 solar panels: New Mexico State-El Paso Electric collaboration to power campus

Aggie Power celebrated its final stages of construction with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday.

Renewable energy transition faces roadblocks in New Mexico

As alarms increase about the horrors of climate change, New Mexico and the nation are hustling to accelerate renewable energy efforts.

Dick Spotswood: No debate, moving to electric vehicles will eliminate harmful carbon emissions

By Dick Spotswood 06/26/21
When I was a kid growing up in San Francisco, my father and I rode the Municipal Railway’s No. 47 Van Ness electric trolley bus to the Civic Auditorium to see Autorama. That was General…

New law designed to increase New Mexicans’ access to solar power

By Robert Nott 04/10/21
“I love what a solar array looks like,” said Bellof, executive director of the nonprofit Coalition of Sustainable Communities NM. “I love what it represents: capturing free solar energy — renewable, free solar energy.”

New Mexico Enacts 98 Percent Gas Capture Rule

By Blake C. Jones 04/02/21
After two years of rulemaking, and more than a year of public comments, on Thursday, March 25, 2021, New Mexico’s Oil Conservation Commission (OCC) unanimously approved new regulations on natural gas emissions that require New…

Renewable energy projected to grow

By Alisa Boswell-Gore 03/27/21
The U.S. Energy Information Administration released a report last month highlighting its projections that the U.S. electricity generation mix made up of renewables will have doubled by 2050. That's also when 42% of the nation's…

New Mexico Senate passes Clean Fuel Standard Act

By Erin Voegele 03/15/21
The New Mexico Senate on March 11 voted 25 to 14 in favor of a bill that aims to establish a Clean Fuel Standard that would require a 28 percent decrease in the carbon intensity…

Preparing for Climate Change in New Mexico

This page provides an overview of the steps New Mexico is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

New Mexico Energy Policy and Implementation Plan

Governor Martinez and outgoing Cabinet Secretary David Martin have developed a State Energy Policy and Implementation Plan. The primary purpose of this plan is to harness New Mexico's abundant resources in a way that grows the state's economy. New…

New Mexico Energy Roadmap Project

Following the release of the 2015 New Mexico State Energy Policy and Implementation Plan, staff at the Energy Minerals and Natural Resources Department's (EMNRD) Energy Conservation and Management Division (ECMD) began to look for ways…


climate health and equity implications of large facility pollution sources in New Mexico

In 2019, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued an executive order establishing a goal of cutting New Mexico greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 45 percent by 2030.1 In parallel, the state legislature enacted the 2019…

Global Low-Carbon Energy Technology Investment Surges Past $1 Trillion for the First Time

London, January 26, 2023 – Global investment in the low-carbon energy transition totaled $1.1 trillion in 2022 – a new record and a huge acceleration from the year before – as the energy crisis and…

New Mexico Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

Over the past decade, utilities, companies, and residents around New Mexico have invested in solar power to save money and increase reliance on green energy. The state has invested $2.3 billion in solar energy, and…

New Mexico State Profile and Energy Estimates

New Mexico is home to the forested peaks and valleys of the southern Rocky Mountains, high plateaus of the Great Plains, and spectacular desert canyons and mesas. In addition to its dramatic vistas, the state…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Environment and Natural Resources State Bill Tracking Database

The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks environment and natural resources bills that have been introduced in the 50 states, territories and Washington, D.C.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

New Mexico’s Climate Threats

Explore graphics, interactives and news about New Mexico's climate threats.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in New Mexico

Between 2017 and 2019, New Mexico experienced one drought and two severe storms. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

What Climate Change Means for New Mexico

New Mexico’s climate is changing. Most of the state has warmed at least one degree (F) in the la st ce ntury. T hroughout the s outhwestern Unit ed States, heat w aves are b…

State-by-State: Climate Change in New Mexico

New Mexico’s climate is already changing. Most of the state has warmed at least one degree Fahrenheit in the last century. New Mexico can expect increasing frequency and intensity of heat waves, reduced snowpack and reduced…

New Mexico Renewable Energy Transmission Authority

The New Mexico legislature created RETA in 2007 making it  one of the first independent state authorities in the nation to  facilitate the licensing, construction and financing of high voltage transmission lines and energy storage projects, allowing delivery…

Environment New Mexico

Environment New Mexico is a citizen-based environmental advocacy project of Environment America. Our professional staff combines independent research, practical ideas and tough-minded advocacy to overcome the opposition of powerful special interests and win real results…


The Energy Transition Act needs fixing

By Sen. William Tallman   01/03/21  
We supported the Energy Transition Act (ETA) because it would transition PNM’s reliance on polluting coal plants to renewables. This was a crucial step in moving to clean energy. We are thrilled that the ETA…
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Oil and gas deliver revenues to New Mexico despite pandemic

By Susan Montoya Bryan   12/22/20  
Oil and gas development infused $2.8 billion into New Mexico coffers during the 2020 fiscal year and marked its second-highest total revenue ever reported despite a global price war and plummeting demand amid the coronavirus…
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Invest funding in our tribal people

By Sen. Benny Shendo   12/21/20  
Under Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s leadership, New Mexico will transition to a cleaner, renewable future we can be proud to pass along to the next generation. But this transition also holds the promise of a…
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NM at an energy crossroads

By Kevin Robinson-Avila   12/19/20  
New Mexico is headed for another record year in oil production, despite the pandemic. Output for the first nine months of the year reached 265.2 million barrels, up 10.3% from the 240.4 million barrels produced…
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Largest Wind Farm in New Mexico To Begin Generating Power

By The Associated Press   12/17/20  
Work is done on a massive wind farm in eastern New Mexico that Xcel Energy officials said Wednesday will move the utility closer to its goal of being carbon-free by 2050 and help cement the…
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Energy group: New Mexico governor says one thing, does another on clean energy

By Ted O'Neil   12/16/20  
An energy trade group is questioning New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s commitment to her own push for renewable energy. A blog post by Power the Future states that the governor “wants every New Mexican…
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New Mexico Public Regulation Commission Unanimously Denies Proposed Gas Plant Expansion

By Miranda Fox   12/16/20  
The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, the state utility regulator, voted 5-0 to deny El Paso Electric’s (EPE) application to expand their Newman Generating Station, which serves customers in the Las Cruces area. The proposed…
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Oil and gas execs ‘guardedly optimistic’ about future of industry in New Mexico

By Adrian Hedden   12/11/20  
Oil and gas executives at some of New Mexico’s top operators said they were optimistic for the future of the industry, even during a market downturn led by the COVID-19 pandemic and talks of a…
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When the river dries, a struggle to stay afloat

By Scott Wyland   08/31/20  
Longtime farmer Glen Duggins is pumping more groundwater this summer to irrigate the crops he grows on his small farm along the Rio Grande than he can recall doing in many years.
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Indigenous activists brace for worsening wildfires under climate change

By Cody Nelson   08/30/20  
They bought what they could and took donations, but wound up making purifiers themselves. Three Sisters members set up shop in Wood’s patio on Monday and, using box fans, 20-inch Filtrete air filters and duct…
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Speakers tout NM’s climate leadership, but are quiet on oil and gas production

By Kendra Chamberlain   08/29/20  
A group of local leaders touted New Mexico’s work towards addressing climate change during a recent webinar on public health and climate change. But speakers such as Speaker of the House Brian Egolf, a Santa…
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New Mexico must combat climate crisis, Luján says

By Scott Wyland   08/29/20  
“This needs to serve as a warning to everyone,” Rep. Ben Ray Luján said of the fires and hurricane during a Facebook forum with climate leaders. “We need to act. Mother Earth needs our help.…
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New Mexico’s air quality is deteriorating: How climate change impacts health

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting.
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New Mexico’s air quality deteriorating: How climate change impacts health

By Marissa Armas   08/26/20  
In a webinar on Wednesday, scientists and climate advocates with Health Action New Mexico said the state's air quality is deteriorating. The smoke from the fires sends out harmful particles into the air, which make…
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Cities With the Highest Flood Risk in Every State

By Andrew Lisa   08/23/20  
Floods accounted for three of the 14 natural disasters that caused at least $1 billion in damage in the United States in 2019. In total, flooding impacted 14 million Americans last year and put another…
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New Mexico governor says US faces 2 existential crises: Trump and climate change

By Caitlin McFall   08/19/20  
Though $15 million only represents about five percent of his campaign donations, climate donors are expected to ramp up their donations during the convention and during the remainder of the presidential race – though some…
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Planning for New Mexico’s water future

By Theresa Davis   08/16/20  
Every drop of water matters in a dry state such as New Mexico. But state efforts to create a 50-year water plan have been complicated by a tight budget, limited staff and persistent drought.
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Can carbon capture save the San Juan coal plant?

By Catherine Morehouse   11/21/19  
New Mexico's second largest coal plant is slated for closure, succumbing to poor economics and further pushed to the brink by the state's comprehensive Energy Transition Act (ETA) passed earlier this year. But a fight…
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Inside New Mexico’s fight to stop using coal

Securitization. It sounds complex, technical and tedious. Perhaps a topic for a banking conference or the mortgage industry. In a newspaper article, it certainly runs the risk of making readers’ eyes glaze over. But wait,…
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New Mexico’s new energy law prompts legal challenge

By Susan Montoya Bryan   08/27/19  
New Mexico’s new landmark energy law is facing its first legal challenge as a coalition of environmental and consumer advocacy groups filed a petition Monday with the state Supreme Court over concerns that certain provisions…
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Lujan Grisham signs landmark clean energy bill

By Andrew Oxford   03/22/19  
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed sweeping energy legislation on Friday that calls for New Mexico’s major electric utilities to get 100 percent of their power from carbon emission-free sources by 2045.
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New Mexico’s electricity will be 100% carbon-free by 2045

By Michael J. Coren   03/19/19  
As Congressional leaders in Washington, DC remain stalled out on climate-related legislation, states are moving forward, even in conservative parts of the country. New Mexico is the latest.
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In Midst Of An Oil Boom, New Mexico Sets Bold New Climate Goals

By Nathan Rott   03/13/19  
New Mexico, a poor but fossil fuel-rich state, is aiming to make itself a national leader in the fight against climate change. Lawmakers passed ambitious legislation this week that will reshape the state's energy sector by…
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From Colorado to New Mexico to Kansas, new governors seek the next clean energy frontier

By Corey Cantor   02/13/19  
"We congratulate the winners of the recent midterm elections and look forward to working with them to build upon the wind-power success story in their states," said Tom Darin, senior director of western state policy…
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New Mexico Governor Joins Alliance Against Climate Change

By Morgan Lee   01/29/19  
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday committed her fledgling Democratic administration to aggressive targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions amid a boom in oil and natural gas production in the state, while endorsing goals…
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Climate Change Threatens New Mexico Water, Land Resources

By Michael Hernandez   06/14/18  
New Mexico, a poor but fossil fuel-rich state, is aiming to make itself a national leader in the fight against climate change. Lawmakers passed ambitious legislation this week that will reshape the state's energy sector by…
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