Rep. Lujan Grisham: A Remarkable Commitment to Renewables

Today we present excerpts from Rep. Lujan Grisham’s excellent Energy Plan, a reminder about our reception for Eco-Incredible PRC candidates, Yazzie and Fischmann (meet two real heroes) and a tip of the hat to the Santa Fe Public Schools Board.

Before we dive into Lujan Grisham’s Energy Plan, a few updates and actions and at the bottom of the post, a plea to take the 2019 Legislative Priorities Survey and a question: Should we develop a similar survey for our Santa Fe People’s Platform? And translate it into Spanish? We could ask for respondents City Council District and begin targeting advocacy constituent to Councilor? What do you think?

What Is the Public Regulation Commission and Why Is this Race Important?

I am surprised at how many people do not really understand what the PRC does and why it is so important. All you have to do is look at PNM’s energy portfolio at left and you can get an idea. This is PNM’s mix of energy regulated and approved by the PRC. For more on what the PRC does and why this election is so important, click here.

To find out more about the opportunity we have to turn the PRC from being a defender of extraction to a advocate for a just transition to renewables. No sacrifice zones!  100% renewables!

A Beyond Critical Opportunity to Protect Our Planet


Meet Two Tremendous Candidates for Public Regulation Commission and Find Out How You Can Support Their Campaigns.  April 9, 5:30-7pm. Santa Fe Modern, 1222 Flagman Way C, Santa Fe, NM 87505, map provided to make it oh-so-easy.
 Please note that we are actually meeting at Rippel Studios directly behind Santa Fe Modern. We will have signs directing you. A reception and Q&A with Janene Yazzie and Steve Fischmann, two very eco-friendly candidates for PRC Commissioner who are running against two Commissioners who almost always vote with PNM and over the recommendations of the PRC Hearing Examiners: Sandy Jones and Linda Lovejoy. Retake feels that these races are almost as important as the race for Governor. The PRC plays such a pivotal role in determining our energy policy and it has been ‘owned’ by PNM for years. Electing Yazzie and Fischmann would flip a switch in ways that are almos unimaginable. Instead of PNM getting its way on every energy decision, suddenly they would be strongly opposed and pushed to completely reverse course. We are providing food and drink and so we need a pretty good head count, so please click here to RSVP on Facebook or write to me at paul@RetakeOurDemocracy.org and please bring your checkbook. This is a fundraiser and both candidates will face PNM-funded opposition, i.e. big money. We need to win these. This is where you need to show up and then follow up by supporting these campaigns by walking for Janene whose district captures some of Santa Fe and calling for Steve. Lets’ do this!  

The Santa Fe School Board Says NO to NRA–Take Action Voice Your Support.  By a unanimous 5-0 vote, the Santa Fe Public Schools took a bold step to reject future grants from the NRA. While the amounts of NRA support are actually pretty meager ($4000/year), the symbolism is important and we applaud the board for taking this step. We often ask you to write to election officials to pressure them to do the right thing, but in this instance we’d like you to do so to applaud them for doing the right thing. According to a New Mexican report, they have been getting quite a few emails criticizing them for their stance. Please write to them and tell them that we have their backs. Retake is considering doing a crowd fund to seek donations to reimburse SFPS for the $4000. What do you think? Given how nasty the NRA can be, it is important we support our Board Members. So, I ask that you really take the time to write to them today. Click here to get to the SFPS Board Member contact info.  Speaking points unneeded.

Lujan Grisham’s Energy Plan: A Bold Commitment to Our Planet

It is no secret that I have been critical of both of New Mexico’s Democratic US House Representatives, Rep. Lujan mostly for the DCCC and both Reps for their failure to co-sponsor more of the bills listed in Our Revolution’s People’s Platform. Both have wound up co-sponsoring more of the bills, but unfortunately this is not reflected on the Summer of Progress scorecard, something I am trying to get more info on, as in: How often do you update this?

To date I have not personally endorsed any candidate for Governor and Retake has not even agreed to support any of the three Democrats, although I am sure that we will work hard for whoever emerges. It is just too important to get a Democrat on the 4th Floor of the Roundhouse.

But I do want to report on a remarkable position paper I received from the Lujan Grisham campaign: Clean Power Clean Future. This is not your typical campaign flyer with empty rhetoric about “we need a clean energy future.” It is a 19-page, deeply researched and detailed agenda.  For example, she points out that:

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports about 5,500 people were employed directly in New Mexico’s oil and gas extraction industry in 2016.
  • According to the Solar Foundation’s annual state-by-state jobs census, 2,929 New Mexicans were employed in solar-related jobs in 2016, up from 1,899 in its 2015 study.
  • A study by the American Wind Energy Association found that wind energy supports more than 1,000 jobs in New Mexico.

In short, despite having a remarkably hostile Governor and the PRC being a foot soldier for PNM, there are almost as many New Mexicans employed in renewables as in the extraction industry. The report goes on to say: With the right leadership, renewables can become one of New Mexico’s biggest industries. We have high-quality renewable resources that can meet demand for renewable power at home and throughout the region.”  The report goes on to point to specific training programs operating in New Mexico  As I read this, I thought to myself, there better be some specific commitments to back this up.

And Lujan Grisham makes some very specific commitments. For example, she commits to an 80% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) by 2040. I’d like to see it a few years sooner, but this a solid start. But what exploded my brain was her commitment to Community Choice Aggregation (CCA). Click here to find out more about CCA.  From Rep. Lujan Grisham:

“As governor, I will work with the PRC and state legislature modernize the state’s public utilities laws to promote competition and diversify the state’s energy sources. We must determine how a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program could be adopted in New Mexico. CCA programs, like community solar, allow a community to produce or purchase (or both) electricity on behalf of its residents. The community determines its preferred energy portfolio, and by negotiating in bulk, is able toprovide renewable energy at a savings.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

I highly recommend reading more of this report.Click: 1-MLG Energy to review the full report.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Donate to Retake Today!  If you believe in what we are doing, we need your financial support to cover  a few hundred dollars on soft drinks and food for the PRC Reception next Monday, space rental for the Community Conversations potluck just two nights ago, and to activate our Rapid Response Network $230 a month for NationBuilder, a data base that allows us to target emails to the 3500 folks in the network. We really don’t waste money here and we are 100% volunteers, so we do depend on you to cover these costs. And Thank You!!!!

If you haven’t taken the Speak Up New Mexico! Legislative Priorities survey, please do so today to tell your legislators what bills you want to see become law.  Click the blue button at left to take the survey. And if you want to get involved with our 2018-2018 Roundhouse Advocacy Team, we meet on the second and fourth Thursday of every month from 4:30-6:30pm at New Energy Economy, 343 E. Alameda. Next meeting, this Th, April 12. To RSVP, just write to me at paul@RetakeOurDemocracy.org. If you want to read about our 2018-2019 Election and Legislative Strategy, click here.  We are quickly approaching 1000 survey completions!

12 thoughts on “Rep. Lujan Grisham: A Remarkable Commitment to Renewables

  1. Even if her energy plan has positive
    elements, this alone is hardly sufficient to recommend her as the obvious choice for governor. It’s well understood that campaign platforms are purely meant to convince reluctant wonks that their fears about a candidate’s conservatism are unfounded.

    When MLG’s in-person go-to comment is to emphasize that another oil boom is near, but that concerns about fracking are unfounded, because all that excess methane from fracking will be captured for profit, you know that MLG is more interested in optics to keep doing the same old thing—rather than verging off into an innovative renewables program.

    These major candidates won’t curtail their two-faced talking points, as long as pundits (including the avowedly progressive) stretch their own credulity, in revealing that the obviously corporate standard bearer has suddenly gotten “green” religion.

  2. That’s great about the Santa Fe School Board rejecting NRA $$. I sent them a note of congratulations and then posted my note to the New Mexican’s Letters to the Editor. Money out of Politics!

  3. Good to read that from the future Governor! Let us hope she does not have to fight her Democratic colleagues in the Legislature to begin that process? Regarding the NRA and monies they donate, the City of Albuquerque Education Department recently stated that they would “continue” to accept money from the NRA! Let’s hope here, that the Mayor steps in and changes that position?

  4. The jobs numbers you cite from the “Clean Power Clean Future” report are unfortunately rather misleading, since the methodologies used to measure the number of jobs in a sector by the BLS, the Solar Foundation and the Wind Energy Association are quite different. This is discussed in a PolitiFact article on a comparison of coal jobs and solar jobs:

    http://www.politifact.com/illinois/statements/2017/apr/25/brad-schneider/are-there-three-times-many-solar-energy-jobs-coal-/

    As noted in the PolitiFact article, the best source for such employment comparisons are the reports on energy sector employment produced by the Department of Energy found at

    https://www.energy.gov/downloads/2017-us-energy-and-employment-report

    If one looks at the state level report for 2017 and looks up New Mexico, starting at page 188 of:

    https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/01/f34/2017%20US%20Energy%20and%20Jobs%20Report%20State%20Charts%202_0.pdf

    one finds wind and solar numbers that are fairly close to those of the Lujan-Grishom report, but oil and gas employment numbers that are much higher:

    Solar: 3,916
    Wind: 1,038
    Petroleum: 12,439
    Natural Gas: 8,628
    Coal: 1,044

    • Nothing, but nothing gets by William Finnoff. His comment indicates “the numbers you cited.” Those weren’t my numbers but that of the MLG report. Having said that, I was very surprised to see how low the projection of extraction related jobs were in NM. The numbers cited above seem much more likely to be on point. Thanks William.

  5. If Texas based Hunt builds the not so Verde high voltage power line, they estimate that maintenance will require less than one full-time person. We get less than one job in New Mexico. In return they desecrate sacred Black Mesa and befoul the longest trail portion of El Camino Real in the U.S. — the Old Buckman Road.segment. The high voltage power line would also pass through neighborhoods and right by schools, and zigzag across the largest block of undeveloped land between Santa Fe and Espanola.

    In Vermont, they bury the entire length of a high voltage power line. In New Mexico, Hunt refuses to bury a single inch of power line or even calculate how much it would cost. Vermont protects the environment because tourism and outdoor recreation are important to their economy. In New Mexico leading Democrats accept industry figures and rush to embrace high voltage power lines. Why? Aren’t tourism and outdoor recreation (and movie making) important to our economy.

    Does Retake Our Democracy have a position on the proposed Hunt high voltage power line?

Leave a Reply