Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed the Energy Transition Act (ETA) into law.
This win was hard fought, and we want to extend our thanks to the Governor, and driving sponsors Senators Jacob Candelaria and Mimi Stewart and Representative Nathan Small for their inspiring leadership.
And thank you! Hundreds of Conservation Voters like you signed on as Citizen Co-Sponsors of the Energy Transition Act and made calls urging your legislators’ support. We can’t get visionary policies like this passed without your support and involvement.
The ETA will ensure that our energy is 100% carbon-free by 2045 – making us the national clean energy leader we know we can be. By reducing fossil fuel pollution, we can protect the health of our communities and take decisive action to address the climate crisis. The ETA will ensure that transitioning to a clean energy economy is fair to communities that have depended on and been most impacted by coal production and utility ratepayers.
The ETA addresses several issues. One is the closure of the San Juan Generating Station in the Four Corners region, a major source of employment and pollution in the area. PNM, New Mexico’s largest electricity provider, is the majority owner in the plant. As we move away from polluting sources of energy, we must also support our neighbors as they transition to cleaner and more sustainable jobs.
The ETA provides a framework for an equitable transition by investing in job training programs and workforce development to ensure the families that have provided our energy for decades are not left behind. The ETA also provides funding for overall economic development in the Four Corners region, and our new Workforce Development Secretary Bill McCamley is committed to ensuring local communities are at the table when decisions are made about how to invest those funds.
All this support for the local community is made possible by a financial tool called “securitization.” This tool allows PNM to refinance the loan they took out to build the coal plant in the first place at a much lower rate – like refinancing a home loan – and close the plant earlier than they had planned. That savings is passed on to the ratepayers – both financially and in pollution reduction. Any plan to utilize securitization must be approved by the Public Regulation Commission, ensuring that ratepayers are protected.
The ETA had moved far into the legislative process when it became clear that some voices were still missing. Indigenous allies raised the need to improve the bill by formalizing indigenous consultation in the process set up by the ETA. We ensured those changes were proposed as amendments and included in the final bill – which passed with bipartisan support.
New Mexico is on the precipice of great change, and the Energy Transition Act positions us well to ensure we push for an equitable transition to a clean energy economy and face the climate crisis head on.
We are so proud to have been a part of getting the bill passed – and we couldn’t have done so without your support. We appreciate you.