Judge sides with New Mexico in Atmospheric Trust Litigation case


A federal judge ruled Wednesday that New Mexico acted appropriately in deciding not to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

The case -- the nation’s first Atmospheric Trust Litigation suit to be heard on its merits -- questioned whether New Mexico’s Environmental Improvement Board decision to repeal greenhouse gas regulations absolved the state of its duty as trustee of the atmosphere.

In making the decision from the bench, the judge ruled that reducing greenhouse gas emissions in New Mexico would have no impact on climate change globally.


Nineteen-year-old Akilah Sanders-Reed and the conservation group WildEarth Guardians sued New Mexico and its governor, Republican Susana Martinez, in 2011, relying on the public trust doctrine, “which requires all branches of government to protect and maintain certain shared resources fundamental for human health and survival,” according to the group.