States are not waiting for Washington D.C. to move forward to create the clean energy economy. Last month New Mexico became the 3rd state, after Hawaii and California, to pass a bill requiring all electricity from public utilities to come from renewable energy sources. The bill passed both the NM House and Senate, then the Governor signed the bill.
The New Mexico State Association of Commerce and Industry (NMACI) supported the legislation. Rob Black, President and CEO of NMACI understands the economic need to transition the state to renewable energy while also protecting the workers in one of the nation’s major coal plants which is slated to close by 2022.
“The business community worked closely on the bill with legislators, utilities, labor, and local communities to balance the challenges and opportunities for our energy producing state to catalyze economic growth so that New Mexico leads the country in the 21st Century,” said Black. “It is a strategic balancing act for our state and we are heading in the right direction.”
To compensate for the loss of coal revenue, the bill sends $40 million to regions expected to lose coal production while also requiring that significant renewable energy generating capacity be built there.
“Public Utility Company of New Mexico (PNM) is ready to do our part by investing in a renewable energy infrastructure and leading-edge technologies to put New Mexico at the forefront of the inevitable global transition to sustainable energy”, said PNM President Pat Vincent-Collawn.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham advocated for the legislation and signed it on March 22. After the bill passed the House, Gov. Lujan Grisham released the following statement:
“When we were presented the chance to move toward cleaner sources of energy, we took it, boldly charting a course to a carbon-free future, permanently centering our commitment to lower emissions and setting an example for other states. Crucially, this legislation does not leave our neighbors in San Juan County behind, as we will provide millions for trainings and economic development.”
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