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V.21 No.1 | 1/5/2012
Julia Minamata

News

Environment vs. jobs

Is it an either/or proposition?

In the Alibi that’s on stands, Contributor Margaret Wright wrote an article on polarized reactions to the repeal of Albuquerque’s building standards.

The debate was repeated throughout New Mexico in 2011 as construction and real estate folks attempted to lower stringent regulations. They argued that tough rules drive business away and result in fewer jobs. Our Republican leadership mostly agreed and helped usher in repeals of various environmental protections.

But as a September New York Times article tells us, there is nothing new about this ideological conflict. It happens regularly around the country. An MIT economist quoted in the report talks about the “Groundhog’s Day quality” of the argument. He’s actually measured job loss as it relates to environmental regs. Turns out, it’s a tricky thing to study.

Julia Minamata

Environment

The Energy Code’s Deep Freeze

Polarized reactions to the repeal of building standards

At the tail end of 2011, Albuquerque's rules were replaced with state regulations—also weakened under Republican leadership. Reactions to the vote signaled the depth of the ideological division that has grown among citizens and politicians.