Energy Democracy 

How we transition matters. The case for system change

We are faced with a critical opportunity (and responsibility) to create a model for the HOW of transition that builds upon and advances the long-standing tradition of environmental and economic justice struggles in our state. Our work to transition provides the opportunity to radically redesign our state’s economy and our “democracy”– from an energy colony based on extraction and undue corporate influence to a regenerative economy, governed by and for the people – with justice and equity at the center.

 

The energy crossroads at which we stand is not just about fossil fuels or renewables but about who controls the process, who owns the resources, who benefits, and who bears the costs. We know that in the current model, the utility has been reaping the benefits – extracting enormous profit from the land and the people of New Mexico. The costs of extraction have been disproportionately borne by Diné people whose land has labeled a national “sacrifice zone” and whose health and lives have been sacrificed due to the high levels of heart disease, cancer, asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, and other diseases brought on by exposure to the pollution of coal, gas, oil, and nuclear extraction as well as the stress of intergenerational trauma.

 

The costs of are also disproportionately borne by the poorest households in New Mexican who have seen their rates rise by 63% over the last decade and who exist in a state of energy poverty – paying as much as 50.2% of household income on energy costs. New Mexicans in general have also paid a heavy price – in addition to the ever present threat of severe drought and catastrophic wildfires, our rivers are contaminated with mercury and arsenic, our state is home to the largest methane hotspot in the US– a 2,500 square-mile methane cloud that hovers over the communities in the four corners and we’ve paid hundreds of millions in public health costs.

But we’ve also paid in a different, more insidious way. New Mexico’s relationship to our monopoly utilities and the extractive industries has corrupted our state’s democracy. PNM is the most powerful corporation in the state and reigns supreme in the state legislature. Over the last 8 years, we’ve also uncovered the ways in which PNM has controlled its own regulators. As the only Fortune 500 corporation in the state, PNM has enormous economic power which translates into political power through direct campaign contributions, wining and dining - threats of backing challengers, and the ways in which the company holds our economy hostage.

Our Campaigns for Energy Democracy

  • Making Renewables More Accessible

  • Allowing for Community Control

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LOCAL CHoice EnergY

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.

 

READ more about Local Choice Energy
 

Competitive Procurement

Protecting the Public Interest! This law change would require 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.

Read our one pager on Competitive Procurement legislation HERE 

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Community Solar

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. 

 

READ more about Community Solar

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Sol for ALL!

Our solar installations for local nonprofits, farms, and public agencies, allows them to redirect funds previously spent on utility bills to the vital services they provide – money cycled back into the community, instead of for profit. Demonstrating the tangible economic, environmental, and health benefits of solar, and prove that the shift to renewable energy is not only necessary but possible today. 

Read more about NEE's Sol for ALL! Program

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