Thursday, October 27, 2011
NM Business Leaders Urge Secretary Salazar to Support Responsible Clean Energy Development on Public Lands
On the heels of a successful statewide renewable energy conference, the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce announced this week that 31 New Mexico business leaders have sent a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, encouraging him to support the development of clean-energy projects on New Mexico's public, private, and Tribal lands for the benefit of the state's economy and environment. The complete text of the letter can be found here (pdf).
"These New Mexico businesses believe responsible clean-energy development on our state's abundant public lands will help spur economic growth and job creation, and urge Secretary Salazar to push on this transition to a new clean-energy economy," said Allan Oliver, CEO of the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce.
The New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce's September conference in Las Cruces attracted 200 business leaders, representatives of industry, government, higher education, and research laboratories, as well as policy-makers from across the state and region.
Interior Department Adviser Alan Gilbert was a keynote speaker, and carried a message from the Secretary: "Encouraging new sources of renewable energy for our country on our public lands is a high priority for President Obama and Secretary Salazar, both for the energy people will be able to use and for the jobs these new and important businesses will bring."
To encourage a continued conversation with Secretary Salazar, New Mexico business leaders this month sent a letter to him asking that he work with them to "create local jobs while protecting our national treasures," adding that "New Mexico has some of the best clean energy resources in the nation but we are behind other states in harnessing new energy development... We would welcome the opportunity to work with you to develop additional new projects in New Mexico that meet your goals to both build America's new energy future and protect our treasured landscapes."
"This letter to the Secretary underscores the commitment of New Mexico's business leaders to clean energy," Oliver added, "and reflects our ambition for New Mexico to be a leader in the responsible transition to job-creating renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and biofuels."
According to the Brookings Institution, New Mexico has over 17,000 clean economy jobs, with each job producing approximately $10,000 in exports on average, but ranks 36th in the nation in the overall size of its green economy industry.