Carbon-free is New Mexico law! Gov. Lujan Grisham signs historic legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, March 22, 2019

Contact: Mona Blaber, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, monablaber@gmail.com
Stephanie Steinbrecher, Sierra Club Ready for 100, stephanie.steinbrecher@sierraclub.org

SANTA FE, NM — On Friday, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Energy Transition Act (SB489), which sets a mandate of 100% carbon-free energy for the entire state.

The bill, introduced in February, was passed by the state legislature last week. The Energy Transition Act will make electricity generation 100 percent carbon-free by 2045 from the state’s investor-owned utilities, and for all rural cooperative utilities by 2050. The law also plans for a just transition for plant and mine workers and provides additional investment in the Four Corners area, where the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station will be decommissioned.

One of Lujan Grisham’s earliest actions as governor was to join New Mexico to the U.S. Climate Alliance along with 21 other states. New Mexico is the third state to establish a standard of 100 percent clean energy, after California and Hawaii. Several other states have also introduced 100 percent clean-energy legislation, including Washington, Nevada, Minnesota, Illinois, New York and Florida, among others.

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:

“The 100 percent clean-energy revolution has arrived. New Mexico is ushering in a sea change that’s rippling across the United States and the world. When towns, cities, states, and the country stand up for our collective future in the face of threats as large as the climate crisis, we all win. We know we need to move beyond coal and dirty fuels toward a 100 percent clean, renewable-energy economy — and as Governor Lujan Grisham today showed, there are champions all over the country who are ready to make this happen. We won’t stop working until we’re sure that the road we’re taking is just, equitable, and lifts up all members of every community. The time is now to take bold action for our people and planet. New Mexicans are on their way — who’s with them?”

Camilla Feibelman, director of the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, said the following:

“I’m proud to call New Mexico my home. The historic legislation passed today confirms what I’ve always known about my state: that we’re strongest when we stand together to defend what we love and when we fight for the future we want for our kids. Moving away from damaging fossil fuels toward 100 percent clean energy will bolster our economy, clean our air and water, address the urgency of climate change, and protect the people who make the Land of Enchantment the special place it is. Thanks to the governor and leaders at the legislature for standing with and for us as we work together toward a fossil-fuel-free future.”

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Carbon-free is New Mexico law! Gov. Lujan Grisham signs historic legislation