2019 PUBLIC POLICY PLATFORM
Our mission is to build a renewable energy future for our health and the environment.
2019 promises to be a pivotal moment in the struggle to boldly address climate change.
Together, we will undertake some of the largest regulatory and legislative campaigns in our State's history that will expose the potential for 100% renewable energy.
Read more about our legislative priorities and fill out form below to become a more active New Energy Advocate during the legislative session.
UPDATE: SB374 was defeated in the 2019 Legislative Session, failing to receive a committee hearing. We are working with our allies to see Local Choice Energy introduced during future legislative sessions.
Local Choice Electricity (LCE) allows local governments, and sovereign Native American tribes to pool their electricity-buying-power and decide how their electricity is produced - whether through independent producers, existing utilities, or owning and producing it themselves. Then, the community choice electricity is sold to community residents and businesses. Established by law in 7 states thus far, LCE is an energy supply model that works in partnership with the state’s existing utility companies which continue to deliver power, maintain the grid, provide consolidated billing and other customer services. LCE fully opens the market to competition.
This legislation only requires the PRC to develop LCE-enabling rules and and a timetable for implementation. LCE enables municipalities, and sovereign Native American tribes to create local wealth by producing and selling clean energy and using profits to support other community needs. The money will stay local instead of leaving the state to the benefit of Wall Street shareholders. Sponsor: Senator Jeff Steinborn and Senator Benny Shendo Jr.
UPDATE: HB210 was defeated in the 2019 Legislative Session, failing to receive a hearing in the final crucial committee, Senate Judiciary, preventing a vote on the Senate floor. We are working with our allies to see Local Choice Energy introduced during future legislative sessions.
Local community solar allows multiple participants to share the cost-saving benefits of a single solar installation. It is a simple tool that provides everyone the opportunity to choose local, reliable, and cost-effective clean energy. 19 states have already passed laws enabling community solar programs.
Sovereign Native American tribes, municipalities, and businesses can build the solar facilities, and the utility companies will transmit it on the grid. Residents and businesses can subscribe, or purchase shares in the solar facility, and the value of electricity generated from those shares is credited to their electricity bill. Community solar opens up the market to competition by energy suppliers, including municipal governments, sovereign Native American tribes, and third-parties to own solar arrays, produce electricity, and make them available to customers. HB210 and SB281 - Community Solar Act - Sponsor: Senator Liz Stefanics, Representative Partricia Roybal Caballero
(Request for Competitive Proposals and An Independent Evaluator Process)
UPDATE: SB456 was defeated in Senate Corporations Committee
Requiring a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) bidding process for any new energy resource acquisitions by investor-owned-electric-utilities, with oversight by an independent evaluator. This will ensure that the utilities’ procurement process is truly competitive, transparent to regulators and the public, unbiased, free of conflicts of interest, and bring New Mexico into line with practice of many states. The law will protect public interest by ensuring compliance with legal requirements for utilities to select the most cost-effective electricity. Because renewables are the most cost-effective option, renewables win! Sponsor: Senator Joseph Cervantes
ADDITIONAL BILLS WE SUPPORTED IN 2019
Infrastructure and Capital Improvement Projects
Solarizing our Community Buildings
By infusing capital outlay dollars into state, county, municipal, and sovereign Native American tribes's solar projects and into the local renewable energy markets, New Mexico legislators will create dignified family-supporting jobs, bolster long-term health for city and county budgets, and take tangible action to address climate change. By solarizing recreation centers, community / senior centers, transportation facilities, libraries, fire stations, and more, we are investing in the long term fiscal health of operating budgets. Solar projects are unique capital investments that pay us back by generating substantial savings that may be redirected toward programs serving the public good.
Solar Tax Credit
There is a federal tax credit that allows individuals and businesses to deduct 30% of the cost of installing a solar energy system from their respective federal taxes. There used to be a 10% NM tax credit, but it expired. Programs such as New Mexico’s residential tax credits have helped solar energy grow in NM. Between 2009 and 2014, 27.4 megawatts (MW) of solar energy were reinstalled by the residential sector in NM.
BILLS TO ASSESS
aka: “the PNM Bailout Bill”
In 2015, PNM invested more than half a billion dollars in its coal plant, the San Juan Generating Station (SJGS). New Energy Economy’s position was that PNM should close the dirty climate-altering unreliable coal plant because:
it was not cost effective compared to solar and wind investments; and
ratepayers would save hundreds of millions of dollars to switch to renewables; and
that we’d create thousands of jobs in a new energy economy.
But PNM, along with cover from “environmental organizations,” got their way before a corrupt PRC to continue operating SJGS.
A year later, PNM agreed with New Energy Economy that San Juan is no longer “cost effective” and will close the plant by 2022. Yet, PNM is asking the legislature to make New Mexicans pay $300 MILLION plus they would have made from us if the plant remained open and still producing electricity until 2053.
PNM wants a BAILOUT!
Unless the following are included we will fight to defeat this bill:
the bill must allow for competition for replacement power after the coal-fired San Juan Generation Station closes in 2022;
the bill must ensure PRC maintains authority over cost-recovery and replacement power;
the bill must allow for renewable energy resources;
the bill must protect New Mexico ratepayers against overbuilding of power generation and NOT set a precedent for future bailouts;
the transition fund must be responsibly managed and allocated;
PNM must pay a fair share for economic recovery.