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Governor praises Biden on climate, energy issues

August 20, 2020 GMT

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The governor of a major state for energy production praised Joe Biden for his approach to combating climate change and supporting the clean energy sector, in an online appearance Wednesday at the Democratic National Convention.

Democratic New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham stood amid an array of solar panels in northern New Mexico to assure voters that Biden would renew U.S. participation on cooperative international efforts to combat global warming if elected.

“We have the chance this November to end two existential crises: The Trump presidency and the environmental annihilation he represents,” said Lujan Grisham, a first-term Democratic governor who previously served in Congress.

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In New Mexico, Lujan Grisham has helped set aggressive mandates for increasing electricity production from renewable sources such as solar and wind, and her administration is crafting regulations aimed at containing of methane leaks and releases that contribute to global warming.

At the same time, New Mexico’s portion of the Permian Basin is a major center for petroleum production, and Lujan Grisham has assured oil industry leaders in public that her Cabinet works for them.

“We have the chance this November to attack the climate crisis, invest in green 21st-century jobs and embrace the clean-energy revolution,” Lujan Grisham said Wednesday.

Earlier Wednesday, Lujan Grisham described a personal affinity with Biden that goes beyond politics to their parallel experiences as widowed parents, in a live video with Washington Post journalist Eugene Scott.

Biden’s first wife, Neilia, and their 13-month-old daughter died in a car crash in 1972. Lujan Grisham’s husband died in 2014 from a medical problem after he collapsed while jogging.

The governor credits Biden with influencing the decision of her fiance, Manny Cordova, to become a Democrat.