SB312 – renewable energy for NM — act now

SB312, which requires utilities to move towards renewable energy, will be heard by the Senate Corporations & Transportation Committee on Friday 3/10 at 2 pm in Room 311.

The Clean-Energy Jobs Bill would require New Mexico’s big utilities to provide 50% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and 80% by 2040. Co-ops would have lower requirements.

Please attend the hearing Friday to help convince senators on this committee to pass this climate-protecting and economy-boosting legislation. The hearing is likely to be delayed because of Senate floor sessions running long — let us know you’re coming at riogrande.chapter@sierraclub.org and we’ll update you on timing.

If you can’t make it Friday, please email or call to urge the senators below, especially if one of them represents you, to vote “Yes” on SB312, the Clean-Energy Jobs bill.

Corporations Committee contact information

Senator Clemente Sanchez, Grants, 986-4513, clemente.sanchez@nmlegis.gov
Senator Benny Shendo, Jr., Jemez Pueblo, 986-4310, benny.shendo@nmlegis.gov
Senator Michael Padilla, Albuquerque, 986-4726, michael.padilla@nmlegis.gov
Senator Mary Kay Papen, Las Cruces, 986-4733, marykay.papen@nmlegis.gov
Senator Bill Tallman, Albuquerque, 86-4373, bill.tallman@nmlegis.gov
Senator James P. White, Albuquerque, 986-4395, james.white@nmlegis.gov
Senator Pat Woods, Broadview, 986-4393, pat.woods@nmlegis.gov
Senator William E. Sharer, Farmington, 986-4381, bill@williamsharer.com

Below are some points you can include about this job-creating legislation (if you call, you can simply tell the person who answers the phone that you’d like Sen. X to vote “Yes” on SB312, Clean-Energy Jobs Bill. Please let them know if you are a constituent):

  1. The New Mexico solar and wind industries employ between 4,000 and 5,000 people. The solar industry alone grew by 1,000 New Mexico jobs in 2016 – one of the few job-growth industries in the state. Current renewable-energy requirements are partly responsible for those jobs numbers, and New Mexico has massive potential to create thousands more wind and solar jobs.
  2. Renewable energy is more affordable than fossil fuels. New Mexico’s Renewable Energy Act and PRC rules already don’t allow ratepayers to pay more than 3% of their bills for renewable energy, so consumer rates are protected under this legislation.

Right now, PNM customers pay 2% of their bills for renewable energy under the current 15%-by-2015 renewables law, well under the 3% ceiling. Prices have plummeted more than 66% for both solar and wind since 2009, and they are often the cheapest energy sources available. As with current law, utilities wouldn’t have to comply with the requirements if complying cost more than 3% of residents’ bills.

  1. This legislation reduces carbon pollution at the levels scientists say are needed to give us a good chance of preventing the economic and human suffering that warming over 2°C would bring.
  2. The three New Mexico investor-owned utilities have a surplus of “baseload” energy and can accommodate much more renewable energy without threatening reliability. Under federal law utilities wouldn’t have to comply with this law if adding more renewables threatened reliability. But these percentages are technologically achievable.

Protecting our children from the worst consequences of climate change is the most urgent issue faced by humanity. States must lead the charge, as federal lawmakers are now reversing safeguards that would help protect future generations.

Featured image by Wendell through Flickr

SB312 – renewable energy for NM — act now
Tagged on: