NM delegation critical of Paris pullout

By:  Scott Turner

The Trump administration last week officially notified the United Nations of the U.S.’ intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement through a letter from the Department of State.

The move fulfills a promise President Donald Trump made during his 2016 campaign.

It isn’t sitting well with members of New Mexico’s all-Democratic congressional delegation.

“Pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement will deeply damage our credibility on the international stage and put us on a path toward very real and costly climate disruptions in New Mexico, and around the world,” said U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, who is a member of the Special Committee on the Climate Crisis. “The United States must be a country of action, not denial. We cannot continue to be a world leader if we choose to lead with ignorance. It will be our planet, our children, and future generations who will pay the ultimate price if we continue this backtracking.”

His Senate colleague, Tom Udall, said on Twitter that “President Trump’s total abandonment of U.S. leadership on climate change will long be remembered as among the most disastrous consequences of his presidency.”

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján called the withdrawal “another reckless move by a reckless administration,” while Rep. Deb Haaland said pulling out of the agreement was “an absolute abdication of our country’s leadership position and completely ignores the crisis our communities are facing.”

“While the West is on fire, the Southwest is dealing with severe drought, and hurricanes are more and more devastating, this administration refuses to recognize that our country needs us to act on climate,” Haaland said, urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to pass the Climate Action Now Act, legislation that would keep the country in the Paris Agreement and would require a plan from the administration on climate change.

That’s a move that seems unlikely to happen.

Both the president and Vice President Mike Pence labeled the Paris Agreement “a job killer” during appearances in Rio Rancho and Artesia in August and September. Their pledges to stand against “the radical climate change agenda” and the Green New Deal were met with enthusiasm at both events.

Heinrich, Haaland and Luján have endorsed the Green New Deal.

GOV., CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER ENDORSE LUJÁN: The endorsements continue to come for Luján in his 2020 Senate bid since the departure from the race of his lone Democratic opponent, New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver.

Georgia Congressman John Lewis, who marched alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement, announced his support last week, as did New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

“Ben Ray knows the importance of getting into good trouble – of standing up for communities who need a champion to ensure they have the health care, education, and rights they deserve,” Lewis said.

“I had the honor of serving in Congress alongside Ben Ray, and he was a valued colleague in the fight to improve health care, protect public lands and invest in our children,” Lujan Grisham said. “He has similarly been a key partner in our shared work for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. He will carry that fight to the Senate, where he will be a champion for all New Mexicans.”

Udall and Heinrich also endorsed Luján last week.

Two Republicans – former New Mexico State University professor Gavin Clarkson and Albuquerque contractor Mick Rich – are seeking their party’s nomination. Anti-abortion activist Elisa Martinez is also considering a Senate bid.