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 a Just Transition
Making Renewables More Accessible
Allowing for Community Control
Read recent Energy Democracy posts
At this critical moment, it is imperative that we strengthen our movement for community-based energy solutions that build community power, local wealth, and local economic development for New Mexican communities.
Help us change the discourse and the trajectory of our state’s energy transition and build the movement to demand what is NECESSARY for our planet AND our communities.
Complete the form below if you would like to participate in regular convening of the New Mexico Energy Democracy Working Group.
Together, we will discuss and implement strategies for increasing the power and efficacy of the energy democracy movement, including legislative, regulatory, educational, and direct action initiatives.
Thank you. [Renewable] Power to the People!