Local Choice Energy passed its first hurdle today on a 5-3 party line vote through the Senate Conservation committee. Thank you to Senator Jeff Steinborn for standing up to the monopoly corporate utilities that have so much power in our state and courageously sponsoring this bill once again. We are looking ahead to the discussion in the Senate Tax, Business and Transportation committee, where we hope our Democratic Senators will be able to see the benefits of Local Choice, including:
creating market competition by allowing municipalities, counties and tribes to form their own utility
putting communities in control of who supplies their energy and the kind of energy they want to buy
creating local jobs and keeps energy profits within the local community to be used to lower energy costs for needy residents or for other local priorities
The benefits of Community Choice Aggregation have been proven in nine states already, and in our own state. During the hearing Senator Neville himself shared how municipally owned energy utility in the City of Farmington provides stable energy at much lower cost compared to PNM. We're not sure why he then chose to vote against that option for everyone else in NM, but his point was very well made.
Local Choice Energy will transform the monopoly energy system in our state and allow the profits from energy sales to benefit New Mexicans instead of Wall Street shareholders.