• Wed. May 29th, 2024

State of New Mexico Faces Landmark Constitutional Lawsuit over Pollution Control Failures

BySamantha Jones

Mar 29, 2024
Stakeholders in the petroleum industry advocate for inclusion in constitutional pollution lawsuit

A constitutional lawsuit against the state of New Mexico for failing to control increasing air pollution is set to have a major hearing on Friday. Several groups, including Indigenous communities and environmentalists, are petitioning the court to intervene in the case. The lawsuit, filed in May, claims that the state is violating the pollution control clause of the New Mexico Constitution, which requires the state to prevent the despoilment of natural resources for the benefit of its people.

Plaintiffs will be arguing in front of the First Judicial District Court against motions from the Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico and the New Mexico Chamber of Commerce. These groups argue that the lawsuit would directly affect their business interests, but lead council Gail Evans argues that only the state can violate constitutional rights. The state has also filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, which comes at a time when New Mexico is experiencing historic levels of oil production, second only to Texas.

While there is a separate push by environmentalists to ask voters to modify the state constitution to include a “green amendment” giving citizens

By Samantha Jones

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