In the spirit of Paul Ehrlich and Julian Simon: A friendly wager on the impact of the Energy Transition Act

Aside from the ban on local Right to Work laws (HB 85) the bill that Rio Grande Foundation took the most interest in this legislative session was probably the Energy Transition Act (SB 489). Our concern being that the renewable mandate included in the legislation would increase the price of electricity. Environmental groups disagree.

Via social media we have been discussing and debating the issue (see below):

So, in the spirit of Julian Simon and Paul Ehrlich I propose a bet. If, by December 31, 2025 (when the 50% renewable mandate is halfway to full implementation) PNM’s residential electricity rates (currently $0.0779432/kWh) for the first 450 KWH per month have not risen by more than the rate of inflation (as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics), I will consider the environmental groups to have won. If the price of electricity rises faster than inflation, Rio Grande Foundation will be considered the winner.

The loser will have to display for the first full week of 2026 a statement on their website and send out a daily tweet stating “We at XX organization were wrong about the Energy Transition Act’s impact on New Mexicans’ electricity prices. We thought electricity prices would increase/not increase but we were wrong. We’re sorry for our mistake.”

What do you say I know 2025 seems like a long way off right now, but let’s see if you really believe what you are selling. Email us at and we’ll get this going.

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5 Replies to “In the spirit of Paul Ehrlich and Julian Simon: A friendly wager on the impact of the Energy Transition Act”

  1. The problem is we reach half-way to 50% not in 2025, we get there by 2023, since the legislation mandates that we get to 40% by 2025 from 2020’s 20%.

    This is a train wreck we’re headed towards. This is yet further supported by a recent Forbes article:

    It’s by Michael Shellenberger, hardly a conservative. He says when solar reaches 15% or wind reaches 30% the payoff for cheap solar and wind power is over. Electric rates begin to sky-rocket. Denmark, Germany, England, and California have already hit this price wall and they are only at 30% renewables overall, and a good proportion of that is hydro-electric, of which NM effectively has none.

    What we can say is that El Paso Electric has 50% clean (non-CO2) energy based on its connections to the Palo Verde nuclear plant in Arizona. But once we reach 17% solar, the power generated at noon will begin to cut into that supply and this will be harmful to southern NM electric rates.

    1. Fair enough regarding the semantics of halfway. I meant time-wise. Either way, rates are going up and the enviros know it. I have read the piece it is a very good one.

  2. Paul, I recommend you revise your bet to the average rate paid per kwh. I’m a large user and most of my electricity is over $0.14 / kwh and rising.

    They will protect the little users, the bottom half who vote for this insanity, by putting the increase on the top half whom they can ignore. It’s going to be a disaster.

    1. I’m not worried. They aren’t taking my bet. They know prices are going up. Also, I don’t think the CAN protect anyone from higher electric prices unless they actually peel back the plan.

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