SANTA FE—Late yesterday, the unelected members of the Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) passed a controversial rule requiring the forced transition of new vehicle sales to electric on a 3-2 vote. Two of the seven-member board did not vote on the measure. The rule will require auto manufacturers to deliver to New Mexico forty-three percent zero-emission vehicles beginning with model year 2027. That percentage is increased to eighty-two percent by model year 2032.
Thousands of New Mexicans, including family-owned auto dealerships, small businesses, and every Republican member of the Legislature, submitted comments to the board expressing their opposition to the mandate. Senator Gregg Schmedes (R-Tijeras), the primary author of the letter to the EIB from the Senate Republican Caucus, issued the following statement:
"The unelected EIB has stripped the right of New Mexicans to make the best decision for their families' transportation needs. With this rule in place, New Mexicans will flock to surrounding states to buy affordable and reliable vehicles, harming our local dealers and businesses. Today was further proof that this administration has no interest in acting in the best interest of the people of our state. Instead, they only serve to further the political aspirations of this lame-duck governor."