The national Sierra Club and the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club jointly announced on Friday that they are endorsing Public Regulation Commissioner and U.S. Congressional candidate Ben R. Luján.
The Sierra Club joins the national League of Conservation Voters and Conservation Voters New Mexico as major environmental organizations recognizing Luján's outstanding environmental record and commitment to fighting global warming.
"We are very pleased to announce today that the Sierra Club officially endorses Ben Ray Lujan for election to the United States Congress," said Susan Martin, Chair of the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club. "In his excellent record as Chairman of the Public Regulation Commission he has shown himself to be a strong environmental leader, and we are confident he will continue to work to protect our environment, our families and our future."
"Commissioner Ben R. Lujan has demonstrated bold leadership at the PRC that has made New Mexico a leader in addressing global warming and protected New Mexicans from high fossil-fuel prices," said Tom Robey, political chair of the Rio Grande Chapter.
Along with the endorsement, the Sierra Club will lend its volunteer strength to Lujan's campaign.
The PRC has implemented some of the highest renewable-energy requirements in the nation -- utilities must provide 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Luján fought to get those standards passed in the Legislature.
Luján also joined leaders of utility commissions in California, Oregon and Washington state in forming the Joint Action Framework on Climate Change to take regional action to fight global warming.
"Having been endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters, Conservation Voters New Mexico and now the Sierra Club's national and regional chapters is a responsibility I take very seriously," said Luján. "New Mexicans value our great outdoors, and in Congress I will fight to protect our wild lands, curb global warming and make America energy-independent."
Ben R. Luján is a New Mexico Public Regulation commissioner and past PRC chairman who is running for U.S. Congress in New Mexico's 3rd District. He has been a leading proponent of renewable-energy development and advocate for consumers' rights and improved access to health care.