New Mexico’s Governor Pushes for Solar Power

The same day President Bush delivered the State of the Union address, New Mexico’s Governor delivered his State of the State address in which he acknowledged renewable energy has not played enough of a role in his state, and unveiled a task force to act as a catalyst for a commercial scale solar project.

Santa Fe, New Mexico – January 22, 2004 [] The following is excerpted from New Mexico’s Governor Bill Richardson’s State of the State Address delivered Monday night: “New Mexico has long been recognized as “The Energy State” and for good reason. We are fortunate to have some of the best oil, gas, and coal reserves in the country. But it’s high time we develop our world-class clean, renewable energy resources to their full potential. We must do this to protect our precious natural resources and wildlands, and reduce our country’s dependence on foreign oil in these uncertain global times. I want more tools to help expand our renewable energy capabilities for the long haul and help the existing efforts move forward. “Thanks to the leadership of our state’s two largest utilities, wind power is being supplied to our homes and businesses right now. Solar power, however, is another story. New Mexico ranks 2nd in the nation in solar energy potential, but to date, has done little to capitalize on this abundant natural resource. “Therefore, I am forming a Solar Power Task Force to identify a commercial-scale solar power project by the end of the year that would be under construction by 2006. It is a challenge that will take a commitment from both the public and private sector to succeed. The rewards can be substantial, in high-wage jobs and economic development. “I am also proposing a $6 million capital projects package dedicated to incorporating energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies at state facilities and public schools throughout New Mexico. This will save taxpayers and school districts money by reducing energy costs. Government should also lead by example. “As Chair of the Western Governor’s Association, I am bringing a North American Energy Summit to New Mexico this April. Energy and political leaders from the United States, Canada, and Mexico will convene to develop strategies to ensure that our continent enjoys a secure, abundant, affordable, and environmentally responsible energy future.”
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