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Another Member of Environmental Improvement Board with Conflict of Interest on Emissions Cap Petition

By   /   February 23, 2010  /   No Comments

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.

Capture1skyNew 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.

“20.1.1.111 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]

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  • Gregory Green

    AIR QUALITY ACT 2008

    20.11.82.14 GENERAL PROVISIONS – RECUSAL:

    A. No board member shall participate in any action in which his or her impartiality or 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 the recusal on the record. In making a decision to recuse him or herself,

    the board member may rely upon any relevant authority.

    B. A board member or a hearing officer shall not perform any function authorized by 20.11.82

    NMAC regarding any matter in which a board member or a hearing officer:

    (1) has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party;

    (2) is related to a party within the third degree of relationship;

    (3) is an officer, director or trustee of a party or interested participant in the proceeding; or

    (4) has a financial interest in the proceeding or has any other conflict of interest.

    [20.11.82.14 NMAC – N, 8/11/08]

  • http://newmexico.watchdog.org Jim Scarantino

    The Gregory Green who posted that comment citing a section of the New Mexico Administrative Code is the same Gregory Green who chairs the Environmental Improvement Board. I confirmed that from his e-mail address. The section on recusal which he quotes applies to the Albuquerque-Bernalillo Air Quality Control Board, not the Enevironmental Improvement Board. I don’t see his point in bringing up a rule that does not govern recusal for members of the board he chairs. He is encouraged to follow-up with an explanation. We appreciate his contribution to this site.

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