By Kendra Pinto / Twin Pines Community Member, and Javier Benavidez / Senior Policy Advocate, New Energy Economy New Mexico and the Navajo Nation are sacred places in which to grow up. From an early age we develop a special reverence for Mother Nature and Father Sky, particularly because we are...

  • Featured post

    NM needs a path to 100 percent renewable energy

    By Kendra Pinto / Twin Pines Community Member, and Javier Benavidez / Senior Policy Advocate, New Energy Economy

    New Mexico and the Navajo Nation are sacred places in which to grow up. From an early age we develop a special reverence for Mother Nature and Father Sky, particularly because we are raised in the shadows of magnificent landscapes like Shiprock and the Sandias, also known as Turtle Mountain. From early on, New Mexicans develop a deep-down affinity for this land’s average of 350 radiant days of sunshine and the winds that sweep our vast open plains and mesas.

    On the flipside, New Mexico also has a long and painful history of environmental injustice. The devastating impacts of extractive industries have been borne by our families over many generations – from those in Silver City who developed black lung from their work in the mines, to loved ones in Church Rock overcome by cancer from toxic uranium spills, to children struggling to breathe in the Four Corners where air quality is among the worst in the nation. The people of Sandoval County are fighting to protect their groundwater from fracking contamination and, in Carlsbad, residents live under the constant threat of radiation from WIPP. Just last summer, an oilfield operated by WPX Energy exploded near our homes in Nageezi, forcing 55 of our neighbors to evacuate and traumatizing our entire community.

    We have been told for too long that we must sacrifice our health and that of our lands in order to serve the economy.

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  • Featured petition

    The Urgency of Now: A Path to Justice A Pledge Toward 100% Renewable Energy for New Mexico

    Thank you for joining thousands of New Mexicans calling for a just transition to 100% renewables.

    Please sign below and spread the word! If you'd like to upload your photo with the 100% renewables logo - download it here and upload your photo with your signature. 

    Together we will turn the tide for New Mexico's economy, environment, and communities!

    Screen_Shot_2017-11-25_at_6.58.37_AM.jpg

    I am a founding member of the 100% Renewable Energy for New Mexico campaign and pledge my political support only to candidates who commit to transitioning New Mexico’s electric sector to 100% renewables by 2035.

    As a central value of this shift, I call on all candidates for elected office to fight for a “just transition” by protecting extractive industry workers with healthcare and job retraining, requiring comprehensive clean-up of the toxic contaminants left in our soil and water, ensuring that consumers don’t pay for utility monopolies’ poor financial planning, utilizing existing transmission capability for renewable energy installation, and ensuring 100% renewable replacement power.

    I look forward to supporting your candidacy with my vote, advocacy, and financial resources once you have publicly committed to 100% Renewables and a Just Transition for New Mexico.

    Thank you in advance for embracing our state’s heritage and natural endowment, for embracing a forward-looking vision for our economy, and ensuring a sustainable future for our children.

    Will you sign?

  • Featured post

    New Mexico Public Regulatory Commission in Retrograde

    In the airless fourth floor hearing room where the body charged with regulating public utilities operating in New Mexico meets to conduct its public business, special rules apply: the Sun revolves around the Earth, which is flat by the way, and utility companies being in the electricity generation business is a really good idea.

    In recent weeks, the state’s largest utility, Public Service Co. of New Mexico (PNM), was before the New Mexico Public Regulatory Commission (PRC) seeking approval of its its Renewable Energy Act Plan for 2018. At special issue was the utility’s proposal for a turnkey contract with an Albuquerque-based solar provider, a company already in the constellation of solar providers in PNM’s renewable energy universe.

    In the proposed deal, Affordable Solar would build out five 10 megawatt generating facilities for completion in 2019, and transfer ownership back to PNM. Under current law, owning the facilities outright, as opposed to purchasing output from independent providers, guarantees PNM a 10% profit on the value of the solar farms, including the value of the land they’re built on, which it can include in its rate base calculation. Growing the asset base upon which rates are determined is a surefire way that investor-based for-profit utilities like PNM, whose shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, can grow future profits and remain attractive in the capital markets.

    Opponents to the deal, who notably include the PRC staff and Hearing Examiner, say that PNM ran roughshod over the procurement process, effectively shutting out independent power producers in order to achieve a predetermined result, and that if the deal is allowed to go forward ratepayers will be disadvantaged to the benefit of PNM’s shareholders.

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  • Featured press release

    New Roadmap to 100% Renewables Report Released

    November 22, 2017
    Contact: Mariel Nanasi
    5054694060

    For Immediate Release

     

    New Energy Economy Rolls Out Plan to Achieve 100% Renewable Electricity in New Mexico by 2035

     

    SANTA FE, NM – Today, New Energy Economy, a New Mexico non-profit characterized by PNM (Public Service Company of New Mexico) as the monopoly’s “chief adversary,” is releasing a 25-page technical report illustrating the pathway to 100% renewable electricity in New Mexico by 2035. Although many other nations and states have left New Mexico behind in transitioning to renewable energy, the plan would set our state on track to lead the nation with a renewable energy economy that is more dynamic, equitable, sustainable, and resilient than what has existed in New Mexico for decades.

     

    “New Mexicans face a choice; should we accept a status quo defined by stagnant wages, high unemployment, and rising pollution? Or should we opt to invest in innovation, competitiveness, sustainability, and self-reliance?” asks New Energy Economy Executive Director Mariel Nanasi.

    Eighty-four percent of New Mexicans, across the political spectrum, support a transition to renewable energy.

     

    Electricity in New Mexico is already undergoing a significant shift. Though coal-fired and nuclear power plants currently make up nearly 3/4s of PNM’s energy mix, and PNM continues to resist transitioning to renewable energy because their shareholders make a significant return off of existing capital assets like the San Juan Generating Station and Four Corners Power Plant, the tides are turning. New Energy Economy with a grassroots movement behind it is equipping the state’s Public Regulation Commission and the New Mexico Supreme Court with the evidence they need to rule against PNM’s “imprudent”, unnecessarily expensive, and wasteful coal and nuclear investments and to rule in the interests of New Mexico’s ratepayers instead. The law requires that the utility choose the lowest-cost energy solution with a preference for environmentally friendly energy supplies. With solar and wind prices now well below the prices of conventional energy supplies, a transition is imminent.

     

    Rather than energy derived from coal, nuclear and natural gas to serve its 500,000 customers, NEE’s plan would transition the state to 700 megawatts of solar power and 1750 megawatts of wind power by 2035, leveraging the state’s 2nd in the nation ranking for solar potential, and 12th in the nation for wind potential.

     

    New Energy Economy is fighting for a “just transition” that creates thousands of new jobs and that drastically reduces air pollution, carbon emissions, and water usage in a high-employment and high-innovation clean energy economy. A “just transition” also means repairing the environmental injustices faced by countless New Mexicans as a result of extractive industry.  In January, New Energy Economy will begin a 3 year process, with a $50,000 annual investment from the Con Alma Foundation that will support a community-led Health Impact Assessment and community-driven planning process by Dine and other frontline community members in the Four Corners region to define community needs and the community’s vision for a just transition and sustainable economic development for the region.

     

    Copies of both the full-report and a four-page executive summary can be accessed at newenergyeconomy.org and is attached to this press release. Copies of the report have been sent to every NM legislator and key City Councilors and County Commissioners statewide.

     

    About New Energy Economy 

    New Energy Economy is a registered nonprofit organization established in 2004 to create economic opportunity in New Mexico with less carbon pollution and more clean energy. New Energy Economy works in partnership with diverse allies to encourage job growth, investment and innovation in a more efficient, sustainable and equitable energy sector. New Energy Economy grounds its work in the research and findings of the world’s leading scientific and technological authorities. Learn more at www.newenergyeconomy.org

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