New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham received Western Resource Advocates' Leadership in Conservation Award Thursday night at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
She was presented the award by Colorado House Speaker KC Becker of Boulder, who played a significant role this year is advancing a green agenda at the statehouse, Boulder-based Western Resource Advocates said in a press release about the event.
The award was in recognition of New Mexico’s "bold new law" to require a carbon-free electricity grid by 2045.
Becker was the driving force behind Colorado’s passing a Climate Action Plan to reduce carbon this year.
“This year, Western states made tremendous strides to act on climate and protect our land, air and water, despite significant backpedaling at the federal level,” Jon Goldin-Dubois, president of Western Resource Advocates, said in a statement Friday.
“WRA is proud to recognize Gov. Lujan Grisham, who was instrumental in advancing landmark clean energy legislation this year in New Mexico, with this award. Thanks to her leadership, New Mexico is showing states across the nation that it is possible to transition away from fossil fuels while creating jobs, investing in local clean energy and reducing electricity bills. We look forward to continued collaboration with her administration and so many others to achieve the forward-thinking solutions our region needs.”
On Friday Lujan Grisham appeared with Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown at the Aspen Institute.
The panel of Western governors discussed their work on job creation, health care and immigration, among other solutions, including how they "move the collective forward," as the institute put it.
“I’m humbled by this recognition and want to emphasize the incredible work of New Mexico legislators, advocates, and stakeholders who have dedicated themselves to the preservation of our land, water, and air,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement about the award from Western Resource Advocates.
“New Mexico can and should be a regional and indeed national leader in clean energy production. As we adapt, we are demonstrating how an energy-producing state can move forward with industry buy-in. We are committed to a broad and inclusive energy industry that provides for New Mexicans of this generation and those to come, those who will inherit what we leave them.”
The organization said former winners include Amy Roberts, former executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association, and David Eves, Xcel Energy’s executive vice president and group president for utilities.
The Boulder-based think tank also presented the Emerging Leader Award to two men this year: Andrew Pappas, state and local policy manager for the Outdoor Industry Association, and Jeremy Romero, regional connectivity coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation in New Mexico.
The award goes to those younger than 35 "doing exemplary work to advance conservation in the Interior West."
“Every day we learn a little bit more about the threats already impacting our climate, land and air, and it has never been more important for all of us to work together to find solutions,” stated Chelsea Congdon Brundige, Western Resource Advocate’s board chair and writer and producer with First Light Films. “We are thrilled to honor Gov. Lujan Grisham for taking critical action in New Mexico to protect our climate, and we are excited to recognize the next generation of leaders — Jeremy and Andrew — who are using their passion for the outdoors and their talent as advocates to protect the land they love. We are grateful for their efforts to advance conservation in the West and look forward to working together to keep our region on the right path.”