New Study Makes NM’s Path Clear: Accelerate to Renewables or Face Huge Economic Consequences of Gas & Oil’s Inevitable Collapse

Today we share a new strategy for getting the Green Amendment passed in 2022. And we offer excerpts and commentary on the inevitable collapse of gas & oil and how NM must behave if it is to minimize the damage. Read on!

Before we examine the dire economic consequences of following the gas & oil industry down the drain, a few reminders of upcoming meetings:

  1. Weds., Dec. 1, 9:30 am, PRC Discussion of PNM-Avangrid Merger. Click here to join meetingIf you want to make public comment, you’ll need to write or call Isaac Sullivan-Leshin by 5 p.m. TODAY, Tues., Nov. 30, at isaac.sullivanleshin@state.nm.us or (505) 670-4830.
  2. Weds., Dec 1, 6-7 pm, Retake Final-Push Strategy to Oppose the PNM-Avangrid Merger. Click here to register.
  3. Weds., Dec 8, 6-7 pm, Retake Legislative Strategy Kickoff Huddle. Click here to register.

Securing Municipal Resolutions in Support of a Green Amendment in New Mexico

The Green Amendment folks have been working hard since March to secure passage in the 2022 legislative session, working with legislators to build support and conducting weekly meetings to generate stakeholder and grassroots support. Because it is a joint resolution and not a bill, it does not need to be on the Governor’s call or be signed by her. So, if the Green Amendment passes the legislature this year, it will be on the ballot in November 2022.

One of their important strategies is to secure passage of municipal resolutions endorsing the amendment. In a Zoom meeting tonight they will lay out how you can help make this happen and discuss the progress achieved in building understanding of why we need the Green Amendment and what it would do. Green Amendment leadership is great at supporting individual initiative, so if you decide to help organize a push in your city or county they will provide all the tools and resources you need. Check it out.


TONIGHT, Tues., Nov. 30, 6 – 7:30 pm MT, a hands-on training session on how you can secure a municipal resolution supporting the Green Amendment in your town. At this meeting you will:

  • Learn why Municipal Resolutions are valuable to supporting the Green Amendment movement.
  • Learn the steps needed to get a municipal resolution in your town, i.e. how to get on the agenda, planning your time and preparation, getting materials together, etc.
  • Learn how sharing your personal story and connection to the Green Amendment can be an important tool in getting a resolution supported.
  • There will be time for Q&A throughout and at the end of the meeting. We will also provide you with a toolkit and materials to make sure you walk away from this training session with everything you need to be involved in the Green Amendment movement and be a leader in your hometown by securing Green Amendment resolutions across New Mexico!
  • Sign up for the training here: https://bit.ly/NMmunicipalTraining

Transition to a Renewable Green Economy or Drown in Economic Chaos: Our Choice

I get lots of posts forwarded to me that shed light on our situation here in NM. Today I focus on a post that screams at our state to get out of the gas and oil business ASAP. Written by Charles Morris, it was originally published by Evannex, a supplier of Tesla accessories. While clearly they stand to benefit from a swift transition, the message from Morris remains germane. I provide excerpts and commentary below. The article is short, so if you just want to check out the original and connect the dots to NM, click here. Otherwise, let’s dig in.

Every major technological shift causes major economic disruption, and economists tend to agree that short-term economic losses will be far outweighed by the benefits of cleaner air, less environmental damage and more efficient transportation.

However, the fossil fuel industries continue to invest vast sums in the development of new oil and gas resources and infrastructure, and a few years from now, there’s a real risk that they’ll be producing far more oil and gas than required for future demand. According to a new study, this stubborn refusal to prepare for the new energy economy could leave oil-producing nations with stranded assets worth more than $11 trillion by 2036—a staggering loss that could well trigger an economic crisis.

“In a worst-case scenario, people will keep investing in fossil fuels until suddenly the demand they expected does not materialize and they realize that what they own is worthless. Then we could see a financial crisis on the scale of 2008,” the study’s lead author, Jean-Francois Mercure of the University of Exeter, told The Guardian. Oil capitals such as Houston and Calgary could end up looking like post-industrial Detroit.

From Evannex: “COULD THE TRANSITION TO ELECTRIC VEHICLES AND CLEAN ENERGY TRIGGER A GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS?” by Charles Morris

The emphasis above is mine and identifies the message to our Governor: the gas & oil bonanza will inevitably collapse and those with wells to clean up and those dependent upon gas and oil revenues will be in economic ruin.

Morris cites Reframing Incentives for Climate Policy Action, a study published in the journal Nature Energy. The study explores how the coming drop in demand for oil and gas will affect the global economy, and it offers different scenarios reflecting different ways that policy may shift in the transition to a green economy.

The study explored several different alternate futures. In a business-as-usual scenario, researchers estimate global fossil fuel assets—most held by the US, Russia and the OPEC nations—would be valued at over $25 trillion by 2036. However, thanks to the shrinking costs of renewables, they would be worth a fraction of this figure. As oil prices fall, the OPEC nations might decide to open up the taps and sell off fossil fuels quickly in order to bring in as much revenue as they could before the music stopped. In this “fire sale” scenario, more fossil fuel assets would be stranded elsewhere in the world. In the US, some 62% of assets would be stranded by 2036.

The prescription to avoid economic pain is clear—the US and other advanced economies must reduce their economic dependence on fossil fuels, and quickly.

From Evannex: “COULD THE TRANSITION TO ELECTRIC VEHICLES AND CLEAN ENERGY TRIGGER A GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS?” by Charles Morris

Even in the rosier scenario, the study projects U.S., Russia and China would each take an economic hit of around $1 trillion by 2036.

The message is clear and urgent. Morris closes with the following:

“This needs to be a story of international cooperation and not leaving people behind.”

So, there’s no need to worry. All we need is for the countries of the world (and political parties within those countries) to agree on the urgent need for action, and to start cooperating for the good of all.

From Evannex: “COULD THE TRANSITION TO ELECTRIC VEHICLES AND CLEAN ENERGY TRIGGER A GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS?” by Charles Morris

I’m guessing the author of this post is being sarcastic in the last paragraph, as we have seen precious little cooperation and forward thinking at an international, national or state level. But there is much information above relevant to NM. We can continue to nurture our gas and oil industry or we can put our collective energy together and begin investing in and developing our own wind and solar, for our own use here in NM and to export to other states who don’t have wind and solar generation.

We have a tremendous opportunity to jumpstart and accelerate our NM transition by rejecting the false promises coming from Avangrid/Iberdrola, whose plan is simply to colonize NM by extracting our wind and solar resources and exporting them for their own profit. We must reject the proposed PNM-Avangrid merger and begin exploring the many benefits of public power and how public power could be implemented in NM to our great shared benefit.

In solidarity & hope,

Paul & Roxanne



Categories: Climate Justice, Uncategorized

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3 replies

  1. Could not agree with your premise more, that is, NM will miss the greatest revolution of an industrial power source in all of the history of our planet. We have abundant Wind and Solar power and instead of transitioning to these clean and less expensive sources we are going to stay “hooked up” to an industry that will drain our water down to nothing. Without water there is no State of New Mexico. Already, there is more water being consumed for fracking each year than is currently held in Elephant Butte at this time. Our produced water will likely be lost to our population indefinitely due to its extreme contamination. There is a reason that NM sits in the lower 5 states in our Union and that reason is; we as a people have chosen poor leadership. Our leadership lacks foresight, imagination and integrity. It doesn’t have to be this way. Instead of sending the wealth of our State to New York (sovereign wealth fund) each year, we could develop these natural energy resources here for New Mexicans. Clean and cost effective energy will attract business from all over the Nation. Clean Steel, Data Centers, Clean Hydrogen, Electric Car Tourism and Clean Electrical Power could all be in our future, if not for the current short sightedness of our legislature.

    We need to change our thinking or we will dry up and blow away in the sands of history.

    • Carl, you speak the truth, but New Mexico is inundated with corruption, entitlement mentality, and inferior educational institutions at all levels. As soon as one sees hope for change, it’s stopped by multiple sources. The evilness/selfishness emanated by people in positions for change is downright shocking. As you said, NM is one of the luckiest states in that we already have unlimited free solar. Coupled with a few micro portable nuclear fission plants to run high energy industries, and we could be a state completely “off grid”. We must let our rivers run free without dams (over 60% of water in NM dams is lost due to evaporation), and protect cornerstone species (prairie dogs) which help replenish aquifers throughout our deserts. We must stop cattle grazing in this state, which eat the exact same grasses as prairie dogs. NM has never supported large grazing animals (only in the mountains do bears and elk reside). Agricultural use of water needs to be managed at the state level, with a complete revamp of the convoluted trade games which currently run New Mexico’s water allocations.

  2. I grew up in Los Alamos and was surrounded by science, but was suspicious of it since it often seemed like those with little humility, big egos and political agendas were promoting a technological solution for everything for all the wrong reasons. At first I went out and got my first BA in environmental studies, and was and still am horrified about cold war, Chernobyl and Fukashima, and that we live in a world of nuclear weapons with the clock at 15 seconds till midnight. think anyone jumping on the bandwagon of ONLY renewables is missing the points made by James Hansen, and James Lovelock. Please remember curiosity and a quest for understanding things is one of our best human resources. i am pro solar, wind, and tidal power and exploring all of these, and more options thoroughly, however, don’t forget the problems with battery disposal, and mining rare earth materials out of the ground. also recall, we are talking about a need for an IMMEDIATE cessation from the burning of fossil fuels. i jumped on the anti-nuclear bandwagon myself for s long time, but see a real need to consider pragmatism here and the use of new technology nuclear if we expect to have any hope for our collective future. yes there have been problems, and i am quite aware of nothing being perfect, but lets use Los Alamos for exploring nuclear power not more nearly useless weapons, which won’t solve the problem of not being able to get along with our fellow humans in a 1.5 degree or higher world anyway. Please see resources below.
    Sincerely, Nicholas Brown

    JAMES HANSEN ON NUCLEAR POWER
    YouTube · Pandora’s Promise. https://youtu.be/CZExWtXAZ7M

    James Lovelock
    Nuclear power is the only green solution – James Lovelockhttp://www.jameslovelock.org › nuclear-power-is-the-o…
    Nuclear power is the only green solution. We have no time to experiment with visionary energy sources, writes James Lovelock – civilisation is in imminent …

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