Gay Dillingham is yet another member of the Environmental Improvement Board suffering from a serious conflict of interest in hearing the petition to cap CO2 emissions in New Mexico. Dillingham is a director of an organization that is part of an alliance to promote the very same sort of emissions caps she is being asked to consider as a member of the EIB. Moreover, New Energy Economy, the group which has brought the petition before the EIB, belongs to the same global warming activism alliance as the group which Dillingham helps direct.
Dillingham has was appointed to the EIB in 2003 and served as its chair until recently, when Gregory Green, a lobbyist and consultant for environmental groups, assumed the role. We have previously reported on Green’s conflicts of interest in hearing the New Energy Economy petition, including the fact that he has been hired as a lobbyist by an organization, the Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy, that includes at least two organizations that have joined the petition pending before the EIB. [Two other members of the Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy have entered appearances in the case. But as of this posting, we lack confirmation that they have become parties to the proceeding by signing onto the New Energy Economy petititon].
Dillingham is a founder of and serves on the New Mexico Board of Directors of an organization called New Voice of Business. Her profile on the New Voice of Business website identifies her as Chair of the EIB, a position she held for most of Richardson’s term in office.
New Voice of Business is a formal ally of 1Sky, a nationwide group advocating emissions caps and other measures it claims are needed to counter man-made global warming. 1Sky defines an “ally” as an organization that pledges to support 1Sky’s solutions and is actively engaged in 1Sky’s campaign. New Voice of Business is listed as a business organization ally. New Energy Economy, the lead petitioner before the EIB, is listed as a 1Sky ally in the “civil society organization” category.
1Sky’s proposal for capping emissions is virtually the same as that being sought from the EIB by New Energy Economy. It seeks to “freeze and cut climate pollution by at least 25% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.” It wants these limits imposed as nationwide emission caps. The petition pending before the EIB seeks to have New Mexico’s emissions capped statewide at 25% below 1990 levels by 2020.
EIB’s Rule on Recusal
The EIB operates under a mandatory rule contained in the New Mexico Administrative Code governing situations where a board member suffers from conflicts of interest in the exercise of their office.
“126.96.36.199 GENERAL PROVISIONS – RECUSAL
PART 1 RULEMAKING PROCEDURES – ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT BOARD
No board member shall participate in any action in which his or her impartiality of fairness may reasonably be questioned, and the member shall recuse himself or herself in any such action by giving notice to the board and the general public by announcing this recusal on the record. In making a decision to recuse himself or herself, the board member may rely upon the Governmental Conduct Act, NMSA 1978, Sections 10-16-1 through 10-16-18, the Financial Disclosures Act, NMSA 1978, Sections 10-16A-1 through 10-16A-8, or any other relevant authority.”
We have e-mailed Dillingham asking why these facts do create a reasonable question about her impartiality and fairness, and why she should not recuse herself.
[Hat tip and muchas gracias to reader PF for the tip, research and the back and forth behind this story]