This morning Senate Conservation had a full house once again. After a brief presentation of the bill by Sponsor, Senator Carrie Hamblen and experts former PRC Commissioner Steve Fischmann, Alysha Shaw, Campaign Director for Public Power NM, and utility lawyer Ty Tosdal, an illuminating discussion took place clarifying that Local Choice Energy does not pose a threat to the grid, introduces competition and choice for consumers and as Mr. Fischmann put it, is a proven policy that operates in many states and that "should not scare you."
Supporters, including Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richards and Hank Hughes, Santa Fe County Commissioner, spoke for the enormous potential for economic development and renewable energy growth possible with Local Choice Energy.
Opposition was raised by PNM and the Chambers of Commerce, focused primarily on their false talking points, fear-mongering about Local Choice slowing down the energy transition (a statement easily disproven by evidence from other states already operating with Local Choice), and trying to conflate Local Choice Energy with full market deregulation, an approach adopted in places like Texas where predatory private for-profit energy sellers have been given free reign to go door to door selling their services to consumers without adequate consumer protections. Local Choice Energy has nothing to do with this kind of market deregulation.
Local Choice Energy has the power to be transformative. It is a proven way to increase the renewable energy on our grid significantly faster than the private utilities are moving. As our Land Commissioner put it: "The beauty of Local Choice Energy is that it offers many other benefits to our communities including local economic development and stable, lower rates, while deploying more renewables. State land is poised for renewable energy development, and we hope to see Local Choice Providers looking to us to partner in bringing local renewable energy generation to their communities once this law is passed."
In the end the bill passed 6-2 on a party line vote, and we are now looking ahead to Senate Judiciary. We expect that opposition from PNM, EPE and SPS will escalate, and we hope that you will continue to actively help spread the word about the benefits of Local Choice and letting Senators, Representatives and the Governor know that New Mexicans wan't competition and clean energy NOW.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TODAY?
1. Click on the button below to email Senate Judiciary members. (Hint: the more you can customize the subject and content the better.)
2. Already emailed the committee? Forward this email to ten friends and ask them if they can email the committee too. As the vote gets closer we'll need to keep adding to our momentum so we need you to help us get the word out through your networks.
3. Share this post on your social media pages.