Heinrich responds

Apparently we caught Sen. Martin Heinrich’s attention with our opinion piece decrying his plans to eliminate natural gas appliances. Here is Heinrich’s response which also appeared in several outlets.

The Senator basically makes a few points:

  1. He personally is pushing a “voluntary” program to essentially help people pay the costs, not a mandatory program. That is true and we never said anything else, but as we noted in the original article 46 cities have adopted mandates of some sort or another. If Heinrich wants to use our tax dollars to get the federal government to pay for people to abandon gas appliances. Is it really a stretch to say he supports or would support actual mandates? He’s never criticized them.
  2. Heinrich claims that he personally saved money by switching to an electric hot water heater. Perhaps that is true for him personally, but all he is doing at least right now is switching natural gas power in the home for a mix of fossil fuel energy produced elsewhere. The chart below shows the current mix of electricity generation from the Energy Information Administration is about 10% wind and solar. Heinrich’s goal would increase electricity generation needs by 40% (due to increased demand) AND he wants 100% of that to come from wind and solar. That is going to involve MAJOR taxpayer subsidies, mandates, AND large tracts of land being eaten up by wind and solar projects. 

Of course, PNM is already warning of brownouts in 2022 when the San Juan Generating Station is forced to close under New Mexico’s Energy Transition Act.