Chaco Protection Memorial Passes Unanimously!


Terrific victories for all you citizen lobbyists who have been contacting your senators and representatives!

  • HM70, asking the BLM to pausing drilling in the greater Chaco Canyon area, unanimously passed the House State Government, Indian Affairs and Veterans Committee on Tuesday (see photo at top of page).
  • The Senate Conservation Committee on Tuesday passed SB312, requiring investor-owned utilities top provide 50% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and 80% by 2040. This climate-protecting legislation passed 6-3.
  • That committee passed another great bill, HB338, which adjusts the law to make community solar gardens more viable.

Many other bills were postponed — so many of you are showing up and testifying on this legislation that it’s hard for these committees to fit in every bill on their agendas. Click here for contact info for these committees – please contact your representatives and senators on these bills.

Senate Conservation Committee schedule for Tuesday, February 28

SB312: 50% Renewable Energy by 2030; 80% by 2050
Support: This bill amends the Renewable Energy Act to expand our Renewable Portfolio Standard significantly, in line with what the Paris Agreement has decreed necessary for a strong chance to stay under 2C of warming in the 21st century.
Update: Passed 6-3 in Conservation! Now headed to Senate Corporations Committee — please contact those senators and ask them to vote “Yes” on SB312.

SB340:  Legislative authority over spending on Gila River projects
Support: This is an attempt to wrest some spending control from the CAP Entity identified in the Arizona Water Settlement Act of 2004. An Act Relating To Water; Requiring Legislative Authorization To Expend Money From The New Mexico Unit Fund; Requiring An Economic Benefit Report Of The Configuration Of A New Mexico Unit Before Money In The Fund Can Be Used To Implement Such Configuration; Requiring Additional Reporting On The Use, Income To And Expenditures From The Fund.

SB342: Community Solar Gardens
Support: This bill allows community solar gardens and requires public utilities to connect these projects even if owned by a third party.  Community solar is a very good thing, giving access to solar energy to many lower income New Mexicans.  Another step towards ‘solar for all’.

SB360: Requiring utilities to shop for the cheapest energy
Support: This requires a utility to issue all-source requests for proposal when it needs to obtain a new source of energy, rather than companies like PNM deciding what’s best for shareholders no matter the consequence for ratepayers (utilities like capital expenditures they can charge consumers a rate of return for, so the two interests are often at odds) and an independent third party to review power-purchase plans of investor owned utilities.

SB364: Land Commission Review of National Monuments
Oppose: Would give the state land commissioner and governor the authority to decide whether national monuments are confined to the “smallest area necessary.” One of many tactics to take public lands out of public hands.

SM43: Study Recycling
Sponsor – Senator Liz Stefanics (D)
Support: A memorial identifying the Rio Grande Chapter as convener of a study group tasked with developing a report and delivering it to the appropriate interim committee by Summer of 2018.

House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee, Room 317, 1:30 pm Tuesday

HB254: Game Commission makeup
Sponsor: Representative Matthew McQueen (D)
Support: This bill would change the method Game Commissioners are chosen, by whom, for how long and with what credentials. It represents a very large improvement in the qualifications and perspectives of Commission members.

HB338: Community Solar Gardens
Support: This bill allows community solar and a fair price to utilities to convey and deliver the clean energy to subscribers. This allows apartment-dwellers and those who can’t  or can’t afford to put solar on their homes access to solar.
Update: This bill passed the HSGIV comittee 5-4 Tuesday and now heads to House Judiciary Committee. Please call Judiciary representatives and ask them to vote “Yes” on HB338.

HJM70: Protection of Chaco Canyon Landscapes
Support: HJM70 is similar to HJM5 in that it asks BLM to stop all leasing near Chaco until it completes its Resource Management Plan for the region. The language, however, doesn’t focus on oil & gas activity, but the profound cultural significance of the area. With its current path, it has a lot better chance to pass than the previous memorial.
Update: Passed in committee and is headed to a vote on the House floor!
Please call your representative ask him him or her to vote “Yes” on HJM70.

Chaco Protection Memorial Passes Unanimously!