March 13, 2019 Read More →

New Mexico legislature passes carbon-free electricity mandate

Albuquerque Journal:

Complex legislation that would push New Mexico toward carbon-free energy generation over the next 25 years won approval in the House on Tuesday — sending the bill to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in the final days of the session.

The proposal, Senate Bill 489, would authorize the use of bonds for Public Service Company of New Mexico to pay for costs associated with closing a coal-fired power plant in the Four Corners area.

It would also phase in requirements for PNM and other public utilities to shift to carbon-free energy generation by 2045. They would have to derive 50 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by 2030 and 80 percent by 2040.

The bill passed 43-22. It won approval in the Senate last week and now heads to Lujan Grisham, who has pushed for its passage.

Rep. Nathan Small, a Las Cruces Democrat and co-sponsor, said the measure would provide help to Four Corners communities affected by the closure of the power plant and allow the state to harness its potential for renewable energy. Closure of the plant, he said, is the result of market forces, not state action.

More: Lawmakers send carbon-free energy proposal to Lujan Grisham


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