We need to work on two fronts. One is trying to make the current system as effective and just as possible. The other is to have our eye on creating energy democracy.
We and our allies are working on a number of bills to improve the system as is. And, we also recognize that we need nothing short of systems-change. The corporations that have controlled our energy system have failed us. We know this from a climate, environmental, health, and economic perspective.
So, while New Energy Economy is promoting a competitive procurement bill that will set up standards for transparency and accountability, the most important legislation this session is the Local Choice Energy Act, (SB-374) introduced by Senator Jeff Steinborn (Dist. 36) and Senator Benny Shendo Jr. (Dist. 22).
Local Choice Energy empowers community decision making regarding energy choices and we believe, as real life experience confirms, that when people are in charge, they choose renewables and they choose to reinvest locally generated funds back into their community.
"It is time for energy freedom for New Mexicans and that is why we have introduced this legislation," said Senator Jeff Steinborn. "Right now we are all forced into one energy provider that has monopoly power over us. That simply works against everything that can serve our community well, whether it is using competition to get better prices or the provision of clean renewable power with New Mexico companies, we deserve that choice."
Read the Article in the January 29, 2019 Santa Fe New Mexican - front page, above the fold!
Local Choice Energy, adopted in eight states (often referred to as "Community Choice Aggregation") will allow any local community in New Mexico to pool their electricity demand and become energy choice providers. Through the legislation, municipalities, counties, and sovereign Native American tribes will be able to secure electricity based on that local community's values. And, as Senator Steinborn said, "We have found that in those states, [with Local Choice Energy] the cost is lower and the energy is greener."
The first hearing for the Local Choice Energy Act will be before the Senate Conservation Committee. As soon as the bill is scheduled, we will let you know.