Saturday, March 31, 2012

New Mexico’s Working Families Praise New Mexico’s U.S. Senators for Voting to End Billions in Special Oil & Gas Company Tax Breaks

From Organizers in the Land of Enchantment:

Reps. Luján, Heinrich Vote Against Oil & Gas Tax Breaks in Ryan Budget

The U.S. Senate failed to pass legislation Thursday by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) which would have cut $24 billion in tax breaks for the five richest oil companies and use the savings to pay down the U.S. debt and invest in wind power and energy efficiency. Organizers in the Land of Enchantment (OLÉ) praised New Mexico’s U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall for voting for the legislation.

Even though a majority voted to pass the bill, the nearly party line vote of 51-47 failed to muster the 60 votes needed to override a filibuster.

Also on Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (WI) budget which retains a decade of oil and gas industry tax breaks worth tens of billions of dollars. OLÉ applauds Congressmen Ben Ray Luján and Martin Heinrich for voting against continuing these taxpayer giveaways and expresses frustration that Rep. Steve Pearce voted for it.

Oil companies made $137 billion in profits last year, thanks to the high prices consumers paid at the gas pump. And despite nearly record high levels of drilling in the United States, gas prices are going up not down.

“We don’t have a problem with too little production; we have a problem with too much profiteering. And working families are footing the bill,” said Mathew Henderson, OLÉ Executive Director.

March 31, 2012 at 12:18 PM in Children and Families, Energy, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03), Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01), Sen. Jeff Bingaman, Sen. Tom Udall | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New Mexicans Can “Breathe A Little Easier” Thanks to EPA’s Proposed Carbon Pollution Standard

San juan gen plant_coal
Photo above taken in Nov., 2011 by Martin LaMonica/cnet

From the Sierra Club: Local Groups and Citizens Express Support for New Safeguards that Will Hold Industrial Polluters Accountable and Help Protect New Mexico Communities’ Health

Today, New Mexicans are breathing a little easier after the Environmental Protection Agency’s and Obama Administration’s release of a proposal to limit carbon pollution from new power plants, which is essential to improve public health. Local organizations including Physicians for Social Responsibility of New Mexico, New Mexico Interfaith Power & Light, New Mexico Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, and Environment New Mexico applauded the new standards.

“Every year, coal-fired power plants dump more than two billion tons of dangerous carbon pollution and other pollutants into the air,” said Dr. Robert Bernstein with Physicians for Social Responsibility of New Mexico. “This new standard announced by the Obama Administration and the EPA will establish the first national limits on carbon pollution from new power plants and move our nation a much-needed step forward toward protecting public health from the harmful effects of climate change. Doctors, nurses, scientists and other health experts say that carbon pollution is particularly dangerous for children because it makes smog pollution worse, which triggers asthma attacks and permanently damages and reduces the function of children’s lungs.”

New Mexicans are showing their support for the new carbon rules, saying the EPA is doing its job under the Clean Air Act – and holding power plants accountable for the amount of pollution they spew into the air. The New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board recently repealed two plans that would have required statewide carbon polluters, including major stationary sources like coal-fired power plants and oil and gas refineries, to reduce emissions beginning in 2012 and 2013. The Public Service Co. of New Mexico, (PNM), the largest electric utility in the state, oil and gas associations, and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez lobbied against the common-sense state carbon pollution limits.

“The EPA and Obama Administration stood up to the big polluters like PNM and opposed their efforts to block clean air standards,” said Shrayas Jatkar with the Sierra Club in New Mexico. “Our public leaders would be wise to remember not to put corporate polluters’ profits ahead of our kids’ health and know that New Mexico families want the EPA to protect us from dangerous air pollution from power plants.”

In addition to strictly limiting carbon pollution and protecting public health, many say these new standards will also spark innovation in clean technologies and create green jobs here in America.

“Like the EPA and Obama Administration’s clean car standards that will cut carbon pollution from new vehicles nearly in half by 2025 while at the same time helping rebuild the American auto industry, standards for new and existing power plants will likely spur innovation and create jobs,” said Mark Westbrock of Positive Energy, a New Mexico solar installation company. “The new technologies necessary to make significant reductions in harmful carbon pollution will encourage innovation in the power sector leading to clean technology manufacturing jobs.”

The standards announced today will limit carbon pollution from new power plants. The EPA is also working to develop standards to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants, and is expected to issue a draft proposal for existing plants early next year.

New Mexico is home to two of the nation’s oldest and largest coal-fired power plants, the San Juan Generating Station and Four Corners Power Plant. Both coal plants rank in the Top 50 for carbon pollution, together emitting over 23 million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year.

“We also applaud Administrator Jackson for continuing to work with scientists, economists and public health officials on a process for addressing carbon pollution from existing power plants. The health and safety of current and future generations depends on us tackling this problem,” said Sanders Moore with Environment New Mexico.

March 28, 2012 at 05:59 PM in Energy, Government, Regulation | Permalink | Comments (1)

Guest blog: Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference Brings Together Labor and the Environment

Marianne dickinsonThis is a guest blog by Marianne Dickinson of Albuquerque, who is a former journalist, a lifelong community organizer and currently runs her own design/ planning/ marketing business. She has observed New Mexico politics for 30 years and still believes we could have ethical, capable, accountable government some day. See her other positions and posts on her opinion of the greening of Abq. NM here.

Two weeks ago, activists and organizers met in downtown Los Angeles for the 5th annual Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference, one of four held around the country this year in order to highlight local and regional accomplishments in greening the economy. In a time when the “Jobs VS the Environment” red herring is being hauled out to portray the Keystone XL pipeline battle, it was inspiring to see teamsters, steel workers and the Sierra Club on the same stage and at the same rally calling for the fair treatment of truckers and recycling workers. I attended as part of a Sierra Club NM delegation, the national organization being one of the many sponsors under the umbrella of the BlueGreen Alliance. (See www.bluegreenalliance.org)

Marianne pic 1 hoffa    Marianne pic 2
While we heard a lot of good news about how far LA and San Francisco have come in meeting their state’s Zero Waste and clean air goals and mandates, the “real world” issues of unsafe, dirty, difficult and degrading conditions endured by workers in many sectors we want “to green” engendered the most passion in attendees. A few hundred of us were bussed to a rally at a privately-owned reclamation center where workers told the crowd how they: had to eat in a roach- and rat-infested lunchroom; had no hand-cleaning facilities, no training, and no safety equipment; sorted recyclables from trash containing dead animals and used syringes; how the collection trucks leaked a nasty brew of mystery fluids on neighborhood streets; and how workers were fired in retaliation for complaining or attempting to unionize. Their own signs said, “Somos humanos, no basura.” (We are humans, not garbage.)

The plight of the recycling workers was the most outrageous, but it wasn’t the only situation we had to consider when making policies without listening to workers and solving problems those policies could present. For instance, will janitorial workers be compensated for the extra work required to sort recyclables or use green cleaning products? Shouldn’t unfair labor practices (like designating regular workers “contract labor” to avoid employer responsibilities) be addressed at the same time?

The rally speakers made me wonder what Albuquerque’s recycling workers’ situation is presently, and what it will be when the private contractor takes over. When I visited the City’s sorting facility many years ago, the sorters were low-wage transient workers (homeless perhaps?) They didn’t have to sort through mixed waste however, just what had been collected as recyclables. (Something progressives may want to look into….)

While the workshops barely touched on some green economy sectors---agriculture, green home building and financing, safer chemicals---there was discussion of a much wider array of green economic opportunities than the mainstream media usually covers. The green economy doesn’t have to mean just solar panels and recycling; we could green a lot more of our local economy when labor, appropriate technology, and environmental advocates all work together!

This is a guest blog by Marianne Dickinson. If you'd like to submit a piece for consideration as a guest blog, contact me by clicking on the Email Me link at the upper left-hand corner of the page.

March 28, 2012 at 01:00 PM in Energy, Environment, Green Economy, Guest Blogger | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Energy Efficiency is Good for NM: Building A Better America

Energy Efficient Buildings Would Reduce Global Warming Pollution, Save New Mexican Families $309 Annually  (photo to right by amerigreen, insert by dfnm)

CO2-emissionsNew Mexican families could save $309 every year on their electricity bills by 2030 if the government invests in the energy efficiency of our buildings today, according to a new report by Environment New Mexico. Saving energy in our buildings would also help New Mexico’s fight against global warming, reducing global warming pollution from buildings by 31 percent—the equivalent of taking more than 657,000 cars off the road.

“It’s time to build better,” said Sanders Moore, Director, Environment New Mexico.  “Bold efficiency measures for buildings can cut energy use in our homes and businesses by almost a quarter by 2030, reducing pollution and saving consumers money.”

Right now, 40 percent of the energy used in America goes to heat, cool, and power our buildings. And because much of this energy comes from dirty and dangerous sources like coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear power, this accounts for nearly half of global warming pollution in the country. Furthermore, much of this energy is wasted, flying out of leaky doors and windows. This high level of energy consumption pumps billions of tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere and costs Americans nearly $400 billion every year.

Our report, Building a Better America: Saving Energy and Money with Efficiency, analyzes the benefits New Mexico would see if we committed to dramatically improving the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings. The report uses government data to estimate reduced energy consumption, decreased fossil fuel use, money saved on energy bills, and global warming pollution prevented in 2020 and 2030.

Making our buildings more efficient would:

  • Reduce the projected energy use of New Mexico’s buildings 28% percent by 2030
  • Prevent the emission of 7.85 million tons of global warming pollution every year by 2030, the equivalent of taking 657,000 cars off the road.
  • Save the average New Mexico family of four $309 a year by 2030.

“That’s the best part about making energy efficiency improvements,” said Moore. “They pay for themselves as consumers enjoy lower energy bills and a cleaner environment year after year.”

Hotel-Andaluz-Rooftop-PanelsGary Goodman, Chief Executive Officer of Goodman Realty and owner of Hotel Andaluz stated that “energy efficiency is a ‘win-win’ proposition. There is a good payback on the investment, we promote our local economy, conserve resources and reduce pollution.  In addition, there is a very real opportunity to make Albuquerque and New Mexico a national leader in the field of resource management.” (Photo above by treehugger, insert by dfnm.)

Environment New Mexico is calling for policies that will help us reach our efficiency goals, including:

  • Steady improvements to building codes over time so that all new buildings are increasingly efficient, culminating in a zero net energy standard by 2030, when new buildings should be so efficient that they can produce all the energy they need on site using renewable energy like wind and solar.
  • Investing in energy retrofits and weatherization to improve the efficiency of existing buildings 30 percent by 2030.
  • Supporting innovative financing mechanisms that will unleash public and private investment in building efficiency.

As documented in this report, successful efficiency programs and incentives at the federal, state, and local level are already paying off, saving consumers money and dramatically reducing energy use. For example, Silver Gardens, a mixed-income, award-winning apartment building in downtown Albuquerque is helping tenants maintain low electric bills by reducing overall energy use by a minimum of 27% over conventionally constructed buildings.  Shelly Capone with Romero-Rose, the developer and owner of Silver Gardens noted that they are “very proud to have produced a high energy efficient, mixed-income apartment complex on a former brownfield site in downtown Albuquerque.”

“There are already thousands of super-efficient buildings all around the country, Silver Gardens apartment building and Hotel Andaluz are two examples right here in downtown Albuquerque” concluded Moore. “Most buildings last for decades, so investing in energy efficiency locks in savings for years to come and builds a strong foundation for the future of our environment and our economy.”

March 27, 2012 at 05:32 PM in Building Code Energy Efficiency, Climate, Energy, Environment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Report Finds New Mexico Utility PNM Used Huge Rate Hikes on Residents to Fuel Soaring Profits During Recession

The Sierra Club, New Energy Economy, San Juan Citizens Alliance, Dine’ CARE, and Southwest Organizing Project released a report today finding that New Mexico’s largest utility, the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), has aggressively pursued major increases in electricity rates, corporate profits, and executive pay during a period of economic hardship for many residents.

Pnm pic 2 001
The analysis of financial documents and investor presentations of PNM and its parent company, PNM Resources (PNMR), reveals that since 2008 the utility has directed 79 percent of the $182 million it has raised from rate increases into corporate profits ¾ driving a 2500 percent profit increase.

“With three rate hikes in four years going mostly to corporate profits while New Mexicans are struggling, PNM is behaving like a big Wall St. bank,” said New Energy Economy Executive Director Mariel Nanasi. “The utility’s claims to care about residents and rate impacts ring hollow.”

The report finds that in 2010, the year unemployment in New Mexico hit 8.4 percent, PNMR raised pay for its top five corporate executives by 68 percent, including doubling CEO Pat Vincent-Collawn’s pay to nearly $2.5 million a year.

PNM’s 2008, 2009, and 2011 rate hikes have amounted to an additional $250 a year for the average New Mexico residential ratepayer, a 41 percent increase, according to the analysis. Less than 6 percent of the money from PNM’s rate hikes was spent toward energy efficiency programs that benefit ratepayers or clean energy projects that create jobs and reduce reliance on costly and polluting coal plants, such as PNM’s San Juan Generating Station near Farmington.

“PNM has been enriching its investors while stalling on renewable energy investments and efficiency programs that create jobs, cut pollution, and save New Mexicans money,” said Shrayas Jatkar, Sierra Club organizing representative in Albuquerque. “This is a wake-up call that ratepayers and regulators must closely question any PNM rate increases going forward.”

Pnm pic1 001

While the state’s other investor-owned utilities, El Paso Electric and Southwestern Public Service, are complying with state law by providing 10 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources, PNM is failing to meet the standard. On energy efficiency programs that save New Mexicans money, PNM lags far behind the 5 percent savings required by 2014, the report finds.

“New Mexicans want more energy coming from clean sources without the air pollution, toxic ash waste, and intensive water use of burning coal,” said Mike Eisenfeld with the San Juan Citizens Alliance in Farmington, where residents are exposed to air pollutants from the nearby San Juan Generating Station and Four Corners Power Plant. “On that priority, PNM is holding our state back.”

The Perspective on PNM report notes that 80 percent of PNMR stock is held by financial institutions, largely outside of the state. After the November 2011 sale of its Texas energy business First Choice for $270 million, PNMR used the money to repurchase $230 million in PNMR shares, meaning “most of the money left New Mexico instead of being invested in-state,” according to the report.

"PNM has been resisting the air pollution controls needed at its San Juan coal plant at the exact same time they've been putting so much money to profits," said Lori Goodman with Dine' Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment (Dine’ CARE). "That's an added insult to all who live near that plant's pollution, and it says a lot about PNM's priorities."

The report is being shared with members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation and Public Regulatory Commission (PRC).

Please click here for a PDF version of the report, “Perspective on PNM: Rates, Profits & Priorities During the Recession (2008-2012).”

 

February 28, 2012 at 04:41 PM in Business, Corporatism, Energy, Environment, Regulation | Permalink | Comments (5)

Monday, February 13, 2012

ACTION ALERT: US Senate Is Considering Legislation That Would Resurrect The Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline

ACTION ALERT notification from Lora Lucero, contributing writer.

Keystone pipeline pic

Right now, the Senate is considering legislation that would resurrect the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. President Obama rejected this toxic disaster-in-the-making last month, and now Big Oil's representatives in Congress are trying to force its approval.

It looks like a deal might be coming together in the next 24 hours. I've just joined a huge effort to blitz the Senate with messages opposing Keystone XL - the entire environmental movement is coming together to send over 500,000 messages to Congress in under 24 hours. Can you join me?

The place to go to send a message is here: act.350.org/sign/kxl/

If you haven't heard of Keystone XL or don't know about the tar sands, here's the short summary: Keystone XL is a proposed 1700 mile pipeline connecting the Alberta tar sands with refineries on the Gulf Coast. The tar sands are North America's largest pool of carbon, and NASA's top scientist James Hansen says that exploiting them means 'essentially game over' for the climate. Keystone will ship tar sands oil across critical water supplies and sensitive ecosystems just so it can be exported to foreign markets from refineries in Texas. The job benefits are way overstated, and overall it is just a scam designed to line Big Oil's pockets at our own expense. 

Thanks a bunch. Lora

February 13, 2012 at 11:10 AM in Action Alerts, Energy, Environment, Fracking, Lora Lucero, Contributing Writer | Permalink | Comments (2)

New Homebuyers Energy Savings Tax Credit Bill Passes House 44-20, Introduced in Senate

Green chamber of commerceShort-term Tax Credit Encourages Consumers to Buy New Energy Efficient Homes or Upgrade Foreclosed Homes, Creating New Construction Jobs, Improving the Existing Unsold Home Market and Generating Net State Revenues

CS HB 177 the New Homebuyers Energy Savings Tax Credit plan that will create new construction jobs and generate important revenue passed the House Floor last evening and introduced to the Senate today. HB177 passed the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee and the House Taxation and Revenue without opposition.

The plan, analyzed by the non-partisan research organization Architecture 2030, builds on the success of the federal First Time Homebuyers Tax Credit, as a means of increasing new homes sales and renovations in a distressed housing market. The plan marries a refundable state tax credit with energy reduction targets in order to dramatically increase private spending, stimulate new building construction, expand the local tax base and generate much needed jobs and tax revenue.

"The Energy Efficient Home Income Tax Credit will create well-paying construction jobs, help New Mexico's working families save money on their utility bills, and make homes more affordable," said Representative Brian Egolf. "The proposal will also bring major benefits to small businesses statewide and help move foreclosed properties off the auction block and into a family's future. I look forward to bringing this bill to the House Floor."

"This tax credit goes directly to the consumer, for either upgrading a foreclosed home or buying a new energy efficient home," said Lawrence Rael, President of the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce. "The goal is to get people into energy efficient homes while spurring growth in the construction industry."

"The New Homebuyer Energy Savings Tax Credit'-like the popular First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit-is focused on encouraging new homes sales which will help revitalize the construction market," said Ed Mazria, CEO of Architecture2030. "This tax credit also helps the existing home market, as it offers the same tax credit for upgrading foreclosed properties that are reducing property values in communities across our state."

The Plan includes a refundable:

$4,000 State tax credit or rebate for purchasing a HERS 60 or equivalent home; $6,000 State tax credit or rebate for purchasing a HERS 25 or equivalent home; and a $8,000 State tax credit or rebate for purchasing a zero-net-energy or HERS 0 home.

The Plan would also offer owners of foreclosed homes:

$4,000 State tax credit or rebate for a 50 percent energy reduction $6,000 State tax credit or rebate for a 75 percent energy reduction $8,000 State tax credit or rebate for a 100 percent energy reduction

Under the Plan, each dollar ($1) of State incentive would not only pay for itself, but would generate approximately:

$14.10 in construction spending and $7.19 in indirect and induced spending creating much-needed jobs; $1.36 in State and Local Government taxes from construction spending, and $0.70 from indirect and induced spending; and $0.11 in property taxes

The bill is supported by the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce, the New Mexico Association of Counties, the New Mexico, Central and Santa Fe Home Builders Association, the NM Green Building Council and the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce.

February 13, 2012 at 07:48 AM in Brian Egolf, Building Code Energy Efficiency, Energy, Environment, Jobs, Lawrence Rael, NM Legislature 2012, Taxes | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

ACTION ALERT: Call Today! New Homebuyers Tax Credit in Committee

Green chamber of commerce
ACTION ALERT: NEW HOMEBUYERS ENERGY SAVINGS TAX CREDIT IN HOUSE TAXATION AND REVENUE COMMITTEE TODAY

Today, House Bill 177 will be heard by House Taxation and Revenue. This top priority NMGCC bill provides a one-time refundable tax credit to new homebuyers.

The bill is designed to kick-start the construction sector by providing an incentive to consumers to buy newly constructed, energy efficient homes or renovate foreclosed homes.

This bill is revenue positive for the state of New Mexico.

If the public was to take full-advantage of this tax-credit it would create 4,500 jobs, induce $282 million in construction spending, and generate $43 million in new state and local government revenue.

This bill has bi-partisan support and has been endorsed by the Santa Fe, Central New Mexico, and New Mexico Homebuilders Associations, the New Mexico Green Building Council, and the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce.

This bill is critical to restarting our construction sector and our economy.  New Mexico finished last in the U.S. among all stages of construction employment last year, losing 6,000 construction jobs. Foreclosures last year totaled 8,797 with 950 in December alone.

HB 177 is scheduled in House Taxation and Revenue today. Please take a moment and call your legislator. Members of the House Tax and Revenue Committee include:

Edward Sandoval (Chair-Albuquerque)
Jim Trujillo (Vice-Chair-Santa Fe)
Don Bratton (Roswell)
Ernie Chavez (Albuquerque)
Anna Crook (Clovis)
George Dodge (Santa Rosa)
Thomas Garcia (Ocate)
Sandra Jeff (Crownpoint)
Tim Lewis (Rio Rancho)
Ben Lujan (Santa Fe)
Rudy Martinez (Silver City)
Dennis Roch (Texico)
James Strickler (Farmington) 
Thomas Taylor (Farmington)
Bob Wooley (Roswell)

You can be connected to your State Senator by calling the legislative switchboard at: (505) 986-4300.

February 8, 2012 at 10:51 AM in Action Alerts, Energy, Environment, Green Economy, NM Legislature 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Experts: Chavez Green Jobs Program Exactly What New Mexico Needs

Marty

From the Marty Chavez for Congress Campaign.

On Monday, former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez held a press conference at Jefferson Green, New Mexico's first USGBC LEED Gold Certified building, to discuss his plan to stimulate job growth in New Mexico's clean energy economy.

The plan, titled “A Vision for A World Class Economy in New Mexico,” is a framework for creating jobs and strengthening the foundation of New Mexico's clean energy future based on encouraging innovation in new technologies and investing in public education and job training.

"New Mexico's future lies in leading the nation towards a 21st century clean energy economy. To reach these goals, we must focus on large-scale ingenuity and innovation,” said Chavez. “As your Representative, I will forge a strong bond between our Congressional delegation, state and local leaders, the national labs, educational systems, as well as business and labor interests to craft legislation that utilizes our natural and high-tech resources to promote sustainable, long term job creation in New Mexico’s clean energy economy.”

Marty's plan covers a wide array of initiatives that take advantage of central New Mexico's incredible resources that will serve as a launch pad for our new economy including technology transfer from the national labs for commercialization, integrating intellectual infrastructure into public schools, regulatory reform, streamlining of funding processes, engaging private investment, updating best practices of government and other public entities, expanding PACE programs, modernizing electrical production and distribution, green grid development, support for bio-fuel research, recognizing the importance of natural gas as a bridge fuel and perhaps most importantly, protecting and respecting the natural environment.

Marty was joined by a number of local innovators and job creators including Karen Cook, President of EECOM; Jack McGowan, owner of Energy Control; Former New Mexico Secretary of Economic Development Fred Mondragon; Mike Mattioli, co-founder of Consolidated Solar Technologies; and Jason Lott, Director of Leasing for Mesa del Sol.

"It’s exciting to see a candidate that has this vision for the future and recognizes how we can bring to bear all the resources that are available to pursue not just smart grid but also smart energy on a larger scale,” said Jack McGowan. “We’ve got some award winning projects here in New Mexico that have been done at the University and elsewhere, along with all the work underway out at Mesa del Sol that presents an even greater opportunity to take a smart grid and turn it into a job engine for our communities and for our state.”

Karen Cook, speaking about Marty's ability to get thing done said, “Words are easy to print, but it's very difficult to be effective in actually implementing strategies - and [Marty's] done that. When [Marty's proposals] come into effect, they will bring us a far better community in the future.”

Fred Mondragon talked about his time in the Chavez Mayoral administration, noting, “[Marty] understood what the issues were in terms not only of global warming, not only about jobs but also the importance of energy efficiency, in terms of national security, in terms of exports versus imports, in terms of job creation, and that’s where we were able to work together. Marty worked with Science and Tech Park at Sandia to create many, many jobs by bringing in, keeping and maintaining the first alternative energy companies in the country. And we were able to keep companies that transferred technology from Sandia National Laboratories, [such as] Emcore, and others. He really was part of the group that initially built the Science and Technology Park. And Emcore was one of the results of that with breakthrough technology that’s creating wonderful opportunities for jobs in New Mexico.”

“I truly believe that one of the unique things [about Marty as Mayor] was that [he] always had a fast forward future vision,” added Mattioli. “Whether it was looking at information technologies, as when we did the fiber optic all throughout Downtown Albuquerque, or now when we started to do solar projects, it’s that vision that we need inside of our communities, inside of our cities and inside of our state to continue to drive these things forward so that we have strength and continue to see a change from looking at fossil fuels.”

Lott, on behalf of Mesa del Sol, also spoke to Marty's time as Mayor. “I want to first talk about the vision under Mayor Marty Chavez. And his vision is actually taking place right now. [Mesa del Sol] is probably the only developer in the country who’s moving forward with the housing program with the size that we’re building at in Mesa del Sol. These will really be eco-friendly houses, with solar and water catching and all these things that the Mayor had the vision so many years ago to implement. But it’s also all about jobs. That’s where we come in. We’re actively out there, getting companies to move to New Mexico and take advantage of this great infrastructure we have. Sure the sunshine is great but without the proper legislation, the proper universities, the proper economic tools, it’s really just lines on paper. We have the infrastructure in place and it's being utilized. At Mesa del Sol alone we have over 2,000 people working out there today. Right now. These are real jobs and real salaries paid to New Mexicans. So we really feel that this next step that [Marty wants to] implement is the next step to create more jobs and we’re in support.”

In closing, Chavez added, “Throughout my career, when I set out to accomplish something on behalf of New Mexican families, I got the results they needed. I am the the only candidate in this race who has actually helped to create meaningful green jobs in this district. I worked tirelessly to bring innovative solar companies like Schott Solar to Albuquerque, expand Emcore and K-Tech's local operations and attract the film industry with Albuquerque Studios and am proud to have helped create the Sandia Science and Technology Park. Plainly, I am the best prepared candidate to lead in our clean energy economy.”

The full plan, “A Vision for A World Class Economy In New Mexico,” is available at www.martychavez.com/greenjobs.

February 1, 2012 at 05:09 AM in Building Code Energy Efficiency, Candidates & Races, Energy, Environment, Green Economy, Martin Chavez, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 30, 2012

NM Green Chamber Applauds New Survey Demonstrating Strong Public Support for Renewable Energy Jobs

Bipartisan Survey Finds Seventy Percent of New Mexico Voters Recognize that Renewable Energy Creates Jobs, Seventy-One Percent Support State's Renewable Energy Standard.

The New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce President Lawrence Rael applauded today's results from the 2012 Colorado College State of the Rockies Conservation in the West poll, which found that New Mexico voters across the political spectrum strongly support renewable energy jobs and want to get more of their electricity from renewable energy. Lori Weigel of Public Opinion Strategies (a Republican firm) and Dave Metz of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (a Democratic firm) conducted the survey for Colorado College.

"This bipartisan survey shows that New Mexicans understand that renewable energy creates jobs and they want more of their electricity to come from wind and solar power-a lot more," said Mr. Rael. "This survey should be a clear guide to policymakers at the PRC and state government, as to how strongly the public desires more renewable energy jobs and generation."

The NM Green Chamber of Commerce highlighted a few key results:

• Seventy percent of New Mexico voters feel increasing the use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar power will create new jobs in New Mexico.
• Seventy-one percent of New Mexico voters want the existing standard for the amount of energy to be obtained from renewable energy sources, which is currently 20 percent by 2020, to be kept in place while 24 percent want to see this standard lowered.
• Sixty-six percent of New Mexico voters think the highest priority for meeting America's energy needs should be reducing our need for more coal, oil and gas by expanding our use of clean, renewable energy that can be generated in the U.S., compared to 28 percent that think the highest priority should be drilling and digging for more coal, oil, and gas wherever we can find it in the U.S.
• The two energy sources New Mexico voters want to encourage the use of most are solar power (66 percent) and wind power (52 percent).
• The energy source New Mexico voters want to discourage the use of most is coal (63 percent).

New Mexico Results you can see here.

Western Energy Results you can see here.

January 30, 2012 at 02:58 PM in Building Code Energy Efficiency, Energy, Environment, Jobs, NM Legislature 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

02/03: Support Fair Business Taxes, Renewable Energy, and Encourage Local Incentives!

The New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce
will be hosting a
legislative action day for our members in Santa Fe on
Friday, February 3rd.

What is the Green Chamber Legislative Action Day?
An opportunity for you to talk with your legislators about the issues important to your business.

What will I have to do?
Come to Santa Fe on February 3rd. We will train you on talking to your legislator and make sure that you understand the issues and talking points on legislation important to you and our Green Chamber members across the state.

Top Four Reasons you should attend:
1. Advocate for a Level Playing Field for Small Business
2. Keep New Mexico Investing in Clean Energy
3. Encourage New Energy Efficient Construction
4. Network with Important Decision Makers and Like-Minded Businesses

Legislative Action Day Agenda : Friday, February 3rd

One-page Issue briefs on top five key issues to be provided to all participants by Wednesday February 1. 

NMGCC has a block of rooms on hold at Garrett's Desert Inn for $69 per room including parking (tel 800-888-2145). The Inn is located one-block from the New Mexico Legislature.

7-8:30 AM NMGCC Directors Legislative Breakfast
Location: Garrett's Desert Inn 311 Old Santa Fe Trail Santa Fe, New Mexico 

9AM Lobby Day Training Briefing Welcome: Lawrence Rael, President, NM Green Chamber of Commerce
Issue Review: Allan Oliver, CEO, NMGCC

Lobbying Tactics: Traci Cadigan, Board of Directors, NMGCC
Location: Garrett's Desert Inn

10:30AM Constituent Businesses Lobby Senators, Representatives on House/Senate Floor

12:30-1PM Rolling Debrief/Brown Bag Lunch with NMGCC staff: Location: to be confirmed

2pm Legislative Committee Hearings

5pm+NMGCC Green Drinks:  Location: to be confirmed

Please RSVP by Wednesday, February 1st to [email protected] .
This will help us plan to have materials ready and your legislators identified before you arrive.
To see entire flier click here: Support Fair Business Taxes, Renewable Energy, and Encourage Local Incentives!.

January 30, 2012 at 09:00 AM in Action Alerts, Building Code Energy Efficiency, Energy, Environment, Green Economy, NM Legislature 2012 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Marty Chavez Releases “Vision for A World Class Economy In New Mexico”

MartyOn Friday former Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez released his plan to stimulate job growth in New Mexico's clean energy economy.

The plan, titled “A Vision for A World Class Economy in New Mexico,” is a framework for creating jobs and strengthening the foundation of New Mexico's clean energy future based on encouraging innovation in new technologies and investing in public education and job training.

New Mexico's future lies in leading the nation towards a 21st century clean energy economy. To reach these goals, we must focus on large-scale ingenuity and innovation,” said Chavez. “As your Representative, I will forge a strong bond between our Congressional delegation, state and local leaders, the national labs, educational systems, as well as business and labor interests to craft legislation that utilizes our natural and high-tech resources to promote sustainable, long term job creation in New Mexico’s clean energy economy.”

Marty's plan covers a wide array of initiatives that take advantage of central New Mexico's incredible resources that will serve as a launch pad for our new economy including technology transfer from the national labs for commercialization, integrating intellectual infrastructure into public schools, regulatory reform, streamlining of funding processes, engaging private investment, updating best practices of government and other public entities, expanding PACE programs, modernizing electrical production and distribution, green grid development, support for bio-fuel research, recognizing the importance of natural gas as a bridge fuel and perhaps most importantly, protecting and respecting the natural environment.

Former Secretary of Economic Development for the State of New Mexico Fred Mondragon praised the plan, noting, “This is exactly the type of comprehensive energy plan New Mexico needs to take advantage of our unique natural and scientific resources. These policies can have a fast and meaningful impact on job creation, energy conservation and renewable energy production in our state.”

Chavez added, “Throughout my career, when I set out to accomplish something on behalf of New Mexican families, I got the results they needed. I am the the only candidate in this race who has actually helped to create meaningful green jobs in this district. I worked tirelessly to bring innovative solar companies like Schott Solar to Albuquerque, expand Emcore and K-Tech's local operations and attract the film industry with Albuquerque Studios and am proud to have helped create the Sandia Science and Technology Park. Plainly, I am the best prepared candidate to lead in our clean energy economy.”

The full plan, “A Vision for A World Class Economy In New Mexico,” is attached and also available at  www.martychavez.com/greenjobs.

January 28, 2012 at 11:00 AM in Energy, Jobs, Martin Chavez, NM-01 Congressional Race 2012 | Permalink | Comments (1)