Consistent with the requirement that states adopt building codes that meet or exceed the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) to qualify for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding, New Mexico developed a package of code changes designed to increase energy savings. A group of building code changes, including the changes to the New Mexico Energy Conservation Code, was submitted at the end of December 2010 for publication in the January 14, 2011 issue of the New Mexico Register.
However, immediately after her inauguration on January 1st, the newly elected Republican governor, Susana Martinez, issued an executive order advising that she was taking a “common sense approach” to rules and regulations by establishing a “Small Business-Friendly Task Force” and directing that proposed and pending rules and regulations be suspended for 90 days to permit review to identify where rescission or revision could “significantly enhance the business environment in New Mexico through economic development and employment growth.” As a result the building code changes, including the Energy Conservation Code, were not published as planned.
In response the Sierra Club sued the Governor, contending that she exceeded her authority by cancelling rules finalized by the prior administration and arguing that actual publication was not required for the rules to become final.
This is one more volley in the dispute between those who view the 2009 IECC as a significant advancement in energy efficiency requirements, with corresponding benefits in energy cost savings, and those who believe that implementing the IECC is too expensive.
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