It is Excessive Time For NM’s Governor To Cease The Political Stunts, Get To Work On EVs & Local weather Change

Final yr, I had excessive hopes for the way forward for EVs in New Mexico. The governor had lately gone to the small city of Socorro to announce a brand new EV charging station, which was essential not just for Socorro, however for everybody that travels alongside the I-25 hall with out a Tesla (and this was earlier than all the NACS bulletins). Like many different New Mexicans, I used to be excited to listen to that this new station can be open to the general public in a couple of weeks. Even higher, the brand new charging station was speculated to be the primary of many the state was going to place in, so issues can be getting quite a bit higher!

However, a couple of days later, somebody posted photographs of the brand new location on Plugshare, and as an alternative of the shiny new ChargePoint station we had seen within the press photographs, there was only a grime lot. I regarded into it additional, and discovered that the governor’s workers had introduced a pretend charging station with them that day, only for the announcement. It was even set in a pretend concrete base with the wheels hidden beneath it, so it wasn’t simply there for adornment. It had been made to look actual and operational for photographs, and so they didn’t warn the press that they weren’t coping with a pretend station.

Sadly, this station continues to be not on-line over a yr later. There are lastly two ChargePoint stations on the location, and so they’re actual ones this time, however as of this writing, they’re nonetheless incomplete.

This has been the norm for EVs beneath Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham’s management. The type phrases and bulletins are at all times there, however relating to precise substance, her precise dedication to EVs appears to be as hole and faux because the station she dropped at Socorro final yr.

I don’t say this frivolously. I’ve been sitting on this story for nearly a yr debating whether or not it might be good for the general EV motion to drop the dime on the governor about this, however issues simply preserve getting worse. If she made one error of honesty a yr in the past and in any other case was glorious at serving to our rural state get its EV infrastructure collectively, it wouldn’t have actually been information. However, that didn’t occur.

As I identified in one other current article, the tempo of EV infrastructure buildout within the state has been gradual sufficient to embarrass a glacier (and never a melting one). The state continues to be within the technique of constructing and deploying charging stations that had been paid for by the Dieselgate settlement, and in contrast to different states, there have been no awards of Infrastructure Invoice funds (aka NEVI). When these will occur in anyone’s guess.

I initially chalked it as much as New Mexico simply being a laid-back state, however then I remembered that Colorado and Utah now have a bunch of Dieselgate-funded charging stations, a few of which have been up lengthy sufficient to have gone down once more. It’s not like Utah is a few progressive nexus the place issues like EVs are a excessive precedence, so that you’d assume that somebody who claims to be as progressive as Michelle Lujan-Grisham would work out how you can get the gears of presidency transferring sooner like they did in Utah and Colorado.

I do know charging stations aren’t as massive of a deal to Tesla drivers, largely as a result of Tesla’s Supercharger community didn’t wait for presidency funds, however beneath Lujan-Grisham’s management, the state nonetheless doesn’t do proper by Tesla, both. Regardless of Democratic majorities in each chambers of the state legislature and a Democratic governor in workplace, the auto vendor’s foyer has managed to maintain the state from doing what many different states have carried out, and permit EV gross sales direct to the customer as an alternative of by way of middlemen.

Tesla managed to work its manner round that downside by opening a service and gross sales heart on tribal land close to Albuquerque, however opposite to what individuals who reside there assume, the entire state isn’t Albuquerque and Santa Fe. There are nonetheless many areas of the state that would use Tesla services, and there aren’t tribal lands all over the place.

This clearly isn’t the governor’s fault fully, but it surely tells us quite a bit about priorities. I’ve by no means heard a information alert saying the governor was calling for the legislature to permit Tesla to function within the state, however I’m at all times listening to about her different priorities. As an alternative of doing what it takes to a minimum of provide you with a restricted exception only for EVs, or an exception for service facilities like they did in Texas, it’s simply not a precedence.

What Has The Governor Been Up To, Then?

If EV charging, EV gross sales, and all the pieces else EV isn’t a giant precedence to the governor, then we should ask what she’s been as much as. If there’s one thing else occurring that’s extra pressing, there’d be a very good excuse, proper?

However, after seeing her failed management for years, a current “public well being emergency” the governor declared confirmed me that there’s a sample to her habits. As an alternative of doing the fitting factor and getting the job carried out when it issues most, Lujan-Grisham is within the behavior of distracting progressive voters with low-effort nonsense that will get loads of consideration with out truly fixing issues. In some ways, that is harking back to what politicians like Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis do, however with progressives because the marks as an alternative of low data conservatives.

Let’s take a more in-depth take a look at this newest instance (my prior one being the pretend charging station).

On Friday (proper earlier than the courts closed for the weekend), the governor declared gun violence in Albuquerque a public well being emergency, banning the general public carry of firearms. However, it was solely hours earlier than the large issues along with her government order grew to become obvious. Each the Bernalillo County sheriff and Albuquerque’s police chief introduced that they might not be implementing the governor’s order. They know (as she or somebody on her workers most definitely does) that federal regulation prohibits banning the carry of firearms throughout emergencies (42 U.S. Code § 5207), and that they’d depart their native governments open to immense authorized legal responsibility in the event that they arrested or cited anyone. Final yr’s NYSRPA v Bruen Supreme Courtroom resolution additional cements a state’s lack of ability to manage firearms in the best way Lujan-Grisham was trying to do.

Whether or not we like these info or not, they’re the info Lujan-Grisham’s workers needed to work with once they drafted their public well being order. She even admitted in a press convention that she knew it might probably be killed in courtroom (at no small expense to a poor state). So, she undoubtedly knew that it was a meaningless tradition warfare stunt and never severe public coverage.

As typical, Lujan-Grisham could possibly be out working arduous to get state authorities in gear and resolve issues residents face (like local weather change and gun violence), but it surely’s simpler to pretend it and pull the wool over the eyes of progressive voters with dishonest political stunts. Sadly, it’s too late for the state’s voters to do away with her, as there’s no recall provision in state regulation. If she has any disgrace by any means, she ought to resign from workplace earlier than everybody figures out who she is and the progressives within the legislature create a recall regulation only for her.

Featured picture: An image of Lujan-Grisham and others in entrance of the pretend charging station they took to Socorro, from her official Fb web page (truthful use, commentary and authorities work).

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