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NM emissions bill in limbo

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By The Staff

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A House panel has tabled legislation that would lay the groundwork for New Mexico's participation in a future cap-and-trade program.

More than two dozen people pleaded with lawmakers last week not to pass the measure, arguing it could cripple businesses and lead to higher utility bills.

Supporters say the measure would not set an emissions cap but rather give regulators the authority to establish rules for early emissions reduction credits and voluntary offsets.

The measure has the support of Gov. Bill Richardson. His energy policy adviser, Sarah Cottrell, says the decision by the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee to table the measure isn't a great sign but she's hopeful the bill can be revived before the session ends.