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Politics Notebook: Heinrich, ex-official tout clean energy plan

SANTA FE – U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich enlisted a high-profile sidekick – former U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz – to promote his clean energy plan Friday.

The two met with reporters in Santa Fe to discuss, among other things, how federal tax credits can be used to bolster New Mexico’s solar and wind industries and the practicality of electric vehicles.

“I really think we’re on the cusp of winning the generation war,” when it comes to energy-related issues, Heinrich said.

The Democratic incumbent is seeking re-election this year to a second six-year term in the Senate. His opponents are Republican Mick Rich, an Albuquerque contractor, and Libertarian Gary Johnson, a former New Mexico governor who entered the race this week.

Heinrich, who sits on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, voted last year to oppose President Donald Trump’s nomination of Rick Perry as Department of Energy secretary. The agency is critical for New Mexico, because it oversees the work of the state’s two national laboratories.

Moniz was appointed as energy secretary by then-President Barack Obama in May 2013. He served through Obama’s second term in office, which ended in January 2017.

VOTER ROLLS: Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver’s office has sent out postcards to more than 54,000 New Mexicans to check whether they should stay on the state’s voter rolls.

Federal law requires that states keep an up-to-date list of registered voters but gives states some leeway in how they go about doing that.

As part of New Mexico’s effort, 54,052 state residents were sent postcards from the Secretary of State’s Office after their addresses were flagged as being possibly outdated.

To stay registered, those receiving the postcards have to do one of three things – fill in the postcard and return it to the local county clerk, update their voter registration on the Secretary of State’s Office website or vote in any election through the 2020 general election.

If none of those three steps is taken, voters could eventually be purged from the rolls – but not until early 2021.

Dan Boyd: