A new analysis by Western Resource Advocates on the potential impact of proposed federal carbon regulations shows New Mexico is well positioned to meet the rules, but it may have some hard choices ahead to fully comply.
The rules, which won’t be finalized until June 2015 following a year of public comment, call for all states to reduce their carbon emissions from existing fossil fuel power plants by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has set specific reduction goals for each state based on total emissions from local power plants and the amount of carbon emitted from all generation statewide. It used that to calculate current levels of carbon emissions per megawatt hour for each state and then set reduction amounts needed to meet the proposed regulatory targets.
For New Mexico, the rules as written call for cutting emission rates 34 percent by 2030, based on the state’s carbon output in 2012, which the EPA used as a base year. That means New Mexico needs to cut its emission rate from an estimated 1,585 pounds per mwh now to 1,048 per mwh.