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New Mexico lawmakers are conservation champions

In February, the League of Conservation Voters released its annual 2023 National Environmental Scorecard. Since 1970, the league’s scorecard has evaluated members of Congress on their environmental voting record. This year, New Mexico’s federal delegation came out on top, mirroring the strong support for conservation and climate we saw in the 2024 legislative session.

Based on votes cast in 2023, the League of Conservation Voters ranked New Mexico as among the most pro-environment Senate and House delegations in the country. Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján each received 100% scores, making New Mexico one of only seven states to earn a perfect Senate score. Reps. Melanie Stansbury, Teresa Leger Fernández and Gabe Vasquez received a combined score of 96%. By this metric, New Mexico’s House delegation is the most pro-environment delegation in the Western United States.

These scores were released shortly after the close of an action-packed short session, where environmental champions in both chambers of the New Mexico Legislature stood up for our lands, water, wildlife and communities. Legislators passed a historic state budget with more than $400 million set aside for conservation and climate resilience, which Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law March 6.

Other key bills like the New Mexico Match Fund and the Conservation Legacy Fund, both with significant bipartisan support, will unlock millions of dollars to deliver key resources to meet the needs of communities across the state. New Mexico also just became the fourth state in the nation to adopt Clean Transportation Fuel Standards, which will help jump-start our long-overlooked low-carbon fuels market, improving air quality and improving health outcomes for vulnerable populations in real time. And, there’s $7 million in the historic state budget for the New Mexico Environment Department to work to protect New Mexico surface waters as the drought continues to worsen across much of the state.

Looking ahead at the consequential election year that looms before us, these big wins for the environment demonstrate how New Mexico lawmakers continue to lead on the environment, whether they’re in Santa Fe or in Washington, D.C. At all levels of government, conservation champions are working tirelessly to make a sustainable, resilient and just New Mexico a reality.

Together, there’s no limit to what we can accomplish for the Land of Enchantment.