House passes bill to diminish renewable energy
Legislation would reduce requirements to generate renewable energy
SANTA FE, NM – House Bill 445, “Reduce Renewable Portfolio Standards” sponsored by Republican Representative Larry Scott (D-Lea County) was passed on the House floor this evening by a close vote of 33-32. Several Republicans voted against the bill.
HB 445 repeals part of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that requires New Mexico public utilities to generate 20% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2020, as required in the Renewable Energy Act. This bill would eliminate a portion of that act, keeping the rate at the current 15% and preventing it from being increased.
“The renewable energy industry in New Mexico benefits our economy. It creates more jobs per dollar invested than fossil fuel resources. Solar is the fast growing industry in our state” said Representative Jeff Steinborn (D-Dona Ana). “The current 15% has already spurred hundreds of megawatts of wind, solar and geothermal energy and thousands of jobs in New Mexico. Increasing renewable energy generated to 20% will only benefit the state.”
“This is an assault on the renewable energy industry. Refusing to increase renewable energy generated to 20% by 2020 would thwart future development in this area, including the jobs and long-term savings that come with it. We need to continue to diversify our economy and fostering renewable energy is one way to accomplish that goal,” said Rep. Matthew McQueen (D-Galisteo).
HB 445 now goes to the Senate.