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Among the stories featured on our Friday rundown; President Obama reported to be ready to take executive actions concerning Cuba; North Carolina marks another year without an execution; and Congress makes it easier for people with disabilities to save.

Martinez 0 for 3 - "Greener" Building Codes Will Be Published



February 2, 2011

SANTA FE, N. M. - Clean energy and conservation proponents are three-for-three, and it seems New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez has struck out in the "new rules" department. The Sierra Club has withdrawn a lawsuit against the Martinez administration in exchange for her agreeing to publish new state building codes adopted last year to achieve greater energy efficiency.

The reversal comes after the State Supreme Court ordered the administration to publish two other sets of new environmental rules. Gov. Martinez had put a 90-day delay on implementing all such new rules and codes, but the high court said that move was overstepping her authority.

Tammy Fiebelkorn, New Mexico representative for the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), helped develop the new building codes and says they are ready to be used.

"These codes were passed after over a year of public hearings. They went through many, many public input sessions and then, they were passed by the Construction Industries Commission, and they are the commission that has authority to adopt building codes for New Mexico. They're legal; they should be in place."

Fiebelkorn says they will also save on energy bills for businesses and households by making new buildings more energy-efficient.

"So that folks in New Mexico aren't spending all their money on utilities to heat and cool, and it makes it less pollution for New Mexico, less money spent for New Mexicans. All around, it's a good idea."

The codes are expected to be published in the State Register soon, with all provisions in effect by July 1. Fiebelkorn says training sessions on the new codes using stimulus money will take place this spring throughout the state.

The other rules the Supreme Court has ordered the new administration to publish involve pollution from dairies, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from utilities and other major polluters.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - NM