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Santa Fe New Mexican (Opinion): Opportunity for clean energy jobs grows

Posted by Gabriela Olmedo on Nov 12, 2022

The Santa Fe New Mexican published Gabriela Olmedo's article on how New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham can lower energy costs and boost clean energy jobs for New Mexicans following her reelection. Read snippets below and the full article here

After winning reelection, Michelle Lujan Grisham returns to the Governor’s Office with an enormous opportunity to lower energy costs and boost clean energy jobs for New Mexicans.

Inflation likely will still be high, but so are the opportunities for creating new, family-sustaining jobs. Thanks to new federal legislation, billions in federal dollars and follow-on private investment will flow into New Mexico, and Lujan Grisham will again be in a position to turn the energy transition into an economic boom for households and businesses across the state.

The Inflation Reduction Act and last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law are designed to spark more clean energy and transmission projects, and a wind-rich state like New Mexico is well-positioned to benefit. Just last year, Pattern Energy’s Western Spirit Wind commenced operations across three counties, creating 1,100 construction jobs and 100 full-time jobs. With 10 years of investment certainty for new wind and solar projects provided by the Inflation Reduction Act, it will be easier and cheaper to construct more wind farms like Western Spirit...

New Mexico is on a promising path toward this future. Over the last four years, Lujan Grisham has prioritized diversifying our economy by championing new clean energy projects, investing in job training and supporting clean energy legislation in the state. Over the next four, she can keep the momentum going. With the Energy Transition Act signed into law, New Mexico now has bold renewable energy standards, a robust workforce training program and energy transition assistance for coal-impacted communities.

Perhaps the best part of all this — federal legislation like the Inflation Reduction Act will help reduce energy costs for local households and businesses. The law provides opportunities for New Mexico’s power providers to harness low-cost new energy generation sources, like Western Spirit Wind, and earmarks funds for residential efficiency programs and tax credits to reduce energy use and cost. Lujan Grisham’s administration should ensure the state and its utilities take advantage of these opportunities to help keep costs low for New Mexico customers...

Today, New Mexicans are facing rising energy costs due to the price of natural gas, which is particularly high now but always volatile. With forward-thinking energy policies — and incoming federal investments to help support them — Lujan Grisham can lower these costs and make the most of a historic opportunity.

Read the full article here

Topics: State Policy, AEE In The News