PRC made right call on renewable portfolio standard

The following letter to the editor appeared in the Albuquerque Business Journal:

Kudos to the much-maligned Public Regulation Commission (PRC), specifically Commissioners Lyons, Hall, and Becenti-Aguilar for stepping up on behalf of New Mexico utility customers! I am not sure what the Sierra Club has against those on fixed incomes and the businesses that consume electricity in our state while creating jobs for thousands of our fellow citizens, but it certainly appears that “Big Enviro” cares little for the energy needs of average New Mexicans.

My organization has studied the Renewable Portfolio Standard and found that the mandates it contains will cost New Mexico’s struggling economy $2.3 billion between 2011 and 2020. We are on record as supporting a free market with no subsidies for any energy source, in electricity generation.

Obviously, the PRC did not go that far and yet the Sierra Club complains that “utilities will load up their grids on ‘cheap’ wind.” Suddenly, even wind is not “green” enough for these people? With solar electricity costing between three and six times that of wind (which in turn is more expensive than coal and natural gas), it would seem that at the very least, utilities should be free to use less costly, but still supposedly “green” wind to generate electricity.

Here’s hoping the PRC wins the inevitable legal wrangling with its well-funded opponents for whom wind is apparently no longer “green” enough.

Paul J. Gessing
Rio Grande Foundation

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