Green candidates won the election and now face challenges like climate change

10 hours ago

Susan Dunlap

United States Capitol, Washington DC 2022

After Tuesday’s election, New Mexico will now have a congressional delegation made up of avid conservation and public lands advocates.

Democrat Gabe Vasquez joins incumbent U.S. Representatives Melanie Stansbury and Teresa Leger Fernández representing New Mexicans in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Mark Allison of New Mexico Wild and Greg Peters of Conservation Voters of New Mexico said Vasquez’s election was an important victory for public lands.

Allison highlighted Vasquez’s resume, including working for the New Mexico Wildlife Federation and the Wilderness Society.

“He’s an avid outdoorsman,” Allison said. “I think it’s closely associated in the public mind with outdoor recreation, equitable access and conservation issues.”

This will be important for New Mexico’s Southern Vasquez District, especially as it transitions from fossil fuels to clean energy sources, Allison said. He said Vasquez spoke during the campaign about the responsibility of the energy industry while acknowledging the role oil and gas plays in supporting economies and creating jobs.

Overall, Allison and Peters said candidates who support conservation efforts in New Mexico have won elections.

Leger Fernández and Stansbury both won re-election in their races, as did Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Public Lands Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard.

That wasn’t entirely surprising, as polls like the 2022 Colorado College State of the Rockies poll showed voters in the western United States overwhelmingly support conservation measures.

Peters pointed out that the State of the Rockies report showed that 85% of respondents in New Mexico said it was important for them to know what an official’s position was on the environment before supporting this. official. He also pointed out that 82% of New Mexicans surveyed said they would support the creation of new national parks, monuments, wildlife refuges and tribal protected areas.

Allison said it’s also important for elected officials to work with communities linked to fossil fuel extraction to find ways to transition to renewable energy.

“This transition is going to be important and it’s going to be important to get [it] right,” he said.