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Renewable Agenda Can’t Deliver Green For New Mexico


Larry Behrens  |  Power The Future

Lawmakers returned from New Mexico’s recently completed special session with a budget response lacking a lot of “green.”

Don’t get me wrong, there are billions worth of taxpayer dollars going into the $7 billion budget. However, missing from all that money is much help from New Mexico’s renewable industry.

For all their talk about a “just transition,” New Mexico’s environmental community is never ready to transition paying their fair share of the state revenue. It all begs the question: who will make up the difference to pay for teacher salaries, our roads, and every other essential service our state needs? Go look in a mirror and you’ll see the answer.

Workers in New Mexico’s oil and natural gas industry contribute well over 30 percent of the entire state budget. What about the contribution to our state budget kicked in by renewables? That’s a whopping 0.01 percent.

Common sense would tell you an industry that delivers so little to our state shouldn’t take much priority in Santa Fe. However, when it comes to politics, common sense doesn’t appear to be renewable.

In early March, Governor Lujan Grisham signed away over $50 million in tax revenue to give away to the solar industry. The very same week, she vetoed over $100 million in improvement projects across the state due to concerns about the looming budget deficit. To be clear, neither amount made up for our budget shortfall, but it speaks to the priorities of the eco-left. Those priorities are in politics, not in our communities.

During New Mexico’s primary election in early June, the Sierra Club poured in more than $170,000 to help their preferred political candidates. Of course, the money didn’t come from New Mexico, but from a high-rise office building in Oakland, California. Keep in mind that’s just the donations from one group in one election. Imagine the millions that flow into New Mexico when you consider eco-left billionaires who want to run Santa Fe.

When you examine the money radical environmentalists spend on elections and combine it with their tax breaks, it’s entirely possible the green agenda leaves our state in the red. Far from satisfied, their next tactic is to try and avoid paying their fair share.

Recently, New Mexico’s renewable supporters launched a campaign to try and wiggle out of paying their fair share. Their goal is to use the political influence they purchase during elections in order to escape paying taxes in our state. Apparently, they feel 0.01 percent is much too high.

New Mexicans need to know the bait-and-switch being played on us. When the eco-left calls for a “just transition” it’s not about supporting our schools or our community or even helping the environment. 

It’s about making their out-of-state friends a little richer and leaving all of us blowing in the wind.

Larry Behrens is the Western States Director for Power The Future, an organization fighting for America’s Energy Workers. He is a former journalist and previously served as Communications Director for New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez. You can find him on Twitter at @larrybehrens and @PTFNewMexico or email at larry@powerthefuture.com.