The current population of the “Land of Enchantment”, New Mexico is estimated to be 2.09 million people. In December 2018, state utilities used coal (47.6%), natural gas (33.2%) and renewable energy (19.1%) to generate electricity. Currently, wind is the primary source of renewable energy in New Mexico.
New Mexico’s use of renewable energy and natural gas offset the escalating cost of coal to keep electricity costs below the average price in the United States. In December 2018, the average cost of electricity in New Mexico was 12.1 ¢ per kWh, which is the 21st most expensive price in the United States. The average price of electricity in the United States is 12.5 ¢ per kWh. Concerns over climate change and escalating coal prices has prompted state leaders to accelerate the move from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
New Mexico Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham has recently signed a clean energy bill, requiring that the state’s utilities generate 50% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2030, 80% by 2040, and 100% by 2045. The energy bill received overwhelming support in New Mexico’s Senate and House even though the state has significant coal, oil and natural gas reserves.
I applaud New Mexico making the clean energy bill a state law. I am impressed that a state which receives significant tax dollars from coal, oil and natural gas operations made this significant commitment to renewable energy. New Mexico has significant wind, solar and geothermal potential which can be developed to replace coal and natural gas power plants. In my opinion, Oregon’s Governor who has been talking about moving to renewable energy for years, should look to state’s like New Mexico that are actually doing the “right thing, now!”
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