NM heads of environment, veterans affairs selected

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SANTA TERESA, N.M. (AP) — An experienced engineer and adjunct professor was nominated Friday by Gov. Susana Martinez to run a state agency that has been in the spotlight recently over its plans to participate in a regional cap-and-trade program aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

F. David Martin, a New Mexico Tech adjunct associate professor, was selected as cabinet secretary of the Environment Department.

Martinez also named retired Col. Timothy Hale as secretary of Veterans Affairs. He commanded the 486th Expeditionary Operations Group during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"As a decorated Air Force veteran and an experienced engineer, Col. Hale and Mr. Martin have the expertise it takes to help move our state forward to a more prosperous and successful future," the Republican governor said.

Martin, who holds engineering degrees from New Mexico Tech and Texas Tech, teaches in the petroleum and chemical engineering department. In 1990, he was appointed by then-Gov. Garrey Carruthers to coordinate policy between the state and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Martin said he looks forward to working with Martinez to "implement commonsense policies that keep New Mexico beautiful and protect our environment while allowing for responsible development of our vast natural resources."

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