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.
Polarized reactions to the repeal of building standards
By Margaret Wright
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.
Councilors have been kicking around the idea of repealing Albuquerque’s building code and replacing it with newly relaxed state rules. We wrote about the plan to undo Albuquerque’s tough standards, but the vote on this measure has been postponed a couple of times.
Tonight, the Council voted in favor of a measure that’s intended to create a “friendlier environment for builders,” said Mayor Richard Berry in a news release. (His pre-mayor background includes co-running Cumbre Construction, a company owned by his wife, Maria.)
In addition to passing a Standardized Energy Code, the city hired a green building code program manager by the name of Lee Brammeler.