Zero-carbon mandate will cost NM citizens - Albuquerque Journal

Zero-carbon mandate will cost NM citizens

New Mexico is the latest state to succumb to the siren song of the environmental misinformation powering the Green New Deal.

Just a few months after New Mexico accepted nearly half a billion dollars from the federal government for oil and gas leases, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a “zero-carbon” energy mandate on public utilities, which will cost taxpayers millions.

As a native New Mexican, I have always been proud of my home state’s citizens, who are both diverse and resilient. Sadly, this renewable energy agenda is neither.

American energy grids have fueled our nation’s economic success and prosperity because they are based on a diverse range of energy sources, including the ever-resilient and affordable coal and natural gas. Those fuels have powered New Mexico through the coldest winters and the hottest summers, even when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.

Even after tens of billions in taxpayer-funded subsidies, wind and solar produced a mere 8.2 percent of our nation’s electricity in 2018.

Why? It’s simple: They cost too much and show up too little. Even the most advanced battery storage technologies in the world have been unable to affordably compensate for the intermittency of wind and solar. This plan is a desperate bet – with your money – that battery technology will advance dramatically, and on an arbitrary schedule set by New Mexico politicians.

The experiences of governments that have tried to go 100 percent renewable have not been positive and usually ended with skyrocketing energy costs that hit low-income people particularly hard.

The governor must not have heard about Germany’s cautionary tale. After Germany forced renewable energy mandates on its citizens, electricity bills have soared, up 46 percent since 2007. Germany actually has to subsidize coal plants to avoid brownouts when renewable energy fails. And cold-related deaths have actually increased under similar laws in the United Kingdom as skyrocketing electricity costs keep low-income senior citizens from heating their homes.

If Europe’s failures are too distant, New Mexico need only look to its neighboring state of Texas. In the city of Georgetown, just a few miles north of Austin, a misguided renewable plan has buried its residents in a nearly $30 million deficit, with electricity bills already increasing. Soon these deficits could lead to price hikes exceeding $100 per household per year.

Potentially worse than the financial cost of renewable mandates are the environmental consequences. Solar and wind energy consume massive amounts of land, destroy wildlife habitats and are dependent on rare-earth minerals. Production of these minerals is dominated by the Chinese and produces toxic and radioactive waste, destroying more land in the process.

It is bad enough that New Mexicans will be subjected to the fiscal and environmental consequences of unreliable wind and solar energy. What is worse is how little this plan will actually benefit our environment.

According to models used by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, even if all of the U.S. power sector eliminated all carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, global CO2 concentrations would drop only 0.7 percent by 2050, rendering a projected temperature decrease of 0.016ºC. This is not a debate about climate – it’s simple math.

And, as an attorney who has practiced air-quality environmental law for 25 years, I can tell you that we have made our air safe without the need for renewable energy, and further emission reductions will not deliver measurable environmental benefits – certainly not enough to justify the costs. The United States is the only highly populated nation to meet the World Health Organization’s standards for particulate matter, which, unlike carbon dioxide, actually harms people. We have achieved these reductions through innovation and pollution control technologies, not top-down mandates. We can continue to keep emissions down using a diverse and affordable range of fuels, including coal and natural gas, so the reliability problems and costs associated with renewable energy are just not justified. …


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
Sunport has second-busiest stretch in 20 months
ABQnews Seeker
65,000 holiday travelers reported over 5-day ... 65,000 holiday travelers reported over 5-day period
2
New trial begins for Rio Arriba sheriff
ABQnews Seeker
James Lujan is charged with helping ... James Lujan is charged with helping a friend avoid arrest in 2017
3
Elk poached at Bandelier National Monument
ABQnews Seeker
Park rangers are seeking the public's ... Park rangers are seeking the public's help in finding those responsible for that killing, as well as the death of a mule deer
4
NMSU has nutty idea for citations
ABQnews Seeker
Donations of peanut butter will be ... Donations of peanut butter will be accepted in lieu of some parking fines
5
DA removed from homicide case
ABQnews Seeker
FARMINGTON – A New ... FARMINGTON – A New Mexico judge has ruled that a district attorney's office must be replaced ...
6
Navajo Nation adds 23 more COVID cases
ABQnews Seeker
Reservation has had a total of ... Reservation has had a total of 1,540 deaths
7
With COVID, ‘normal’ is a relative term
Business
Elderly residents living alone know how ... Elderly residents living alone know how to protect themselves; they keep their doors shut and lock their windows at night
8
Roth conversions offer considerable benefits
Business
I have been a fan for ... I have been a fan for many years of investors building their tax-free (Roth IRA) bucket as large as ...
9
Can a job-seeker include unpaid work on their résumé?
Business
Try listing your experience and accomplishments ... Try listing your experience and accomplishments under either Consulting or Freelance