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									FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 22, 2005 CONTACT: Laura J. Mulry 505-476-3226, cell: 505-690-1689

GOVERNOR RICHARDSON, STATE LEGISLATURE PASS CLEAN ENERGY PACKAGE FOR NEW MEXICO
Clean energy initiatives generate jobs, protect environment, save taxpayers money
SANTA FE – Governor Bill Richardson is applauding New Mexico Legislators for passing four of his most important clean energy initiatives during the just-completed 60-day legislative session. “These aggressive and innovate initiatives will help firmly establish New Mexico as a leader in clean and renewable energy,” said Governor Richardson. “The new laws will help us continue to turn our abundant wind, solar, and biomass resources into clean energy, high-wage jobs, and economic growth. Everybody wins in this effort- business, the environment, and most importantly, the citizens of New Mexico.” “We have world-class renewable energy resources,” said Energy Minerals and Natural Resources Department Cabinet Secretary Joanna Prukop. “This clean energy package is an investment in the future vitality of our state’s economy and propels New Mexico into a competitive slot on the national renewable energy marketplace, just as we have been for many years with traditional energy resources.” The Legislature adopted a comprehensive Clean Energy package addressing renewable energy and energy efficiency in both the public and private sectors. A part of the Governor’s Invest New Mexico initiative, the package consists of these bills:  Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Bonding Act (House Bill 32, sponsored by Representative Mimi Stewart ) - funds energy efficiency and renewable energy renovations at existing state, tribal and public school facilities by “capturing” energy utility bill savings to pay the debt service on bonds. New Mexico is the first state in the nation to approve this innovative funding mechanism.  Efficient Use of Energy Act (Senate Bill 644, sponsored by Senator Carlos Cisneros) authorizes and directs electric and gas utilities to implement cost-effective energy efficiency programs, reducing utility expenditures and keeping energy dollars in state.  Natural Resource Conservation Bids (Energy Contracting) (House Bill 720, sponsored by Speaker Lujan) – makes it easier for public entities to upgrade their buildings in terms of energy efficiency, creating a better environment for our workers, better educational environment for our students and reduced energy consumption, which means lower utility bills.

In addition, the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department received a Clean Energy appropriation:  Clean Energy Grants ($3 Million) – the appropriation funds clean energy projects throughout the state for local governments, tribal entities and public schools to upgrade facilities with energy efficient technology, including funds to incite hydrogen technology development by creating new high-value, knowledge-based jobs, attracting more investment capital and generating new revenue streams into the state. Last year at the Western Governors Association North American Energy Summit, Governor Richardson issued an Executive Order declaring New Mexico the “Clean Energy State.” At that time he established six public Clean Energy Task Forces, comprised of more than 100 industry and environmental volunteers who worked to develop policy and legislative recommendations. Their work led to the development of the legislation and now provides leadership and direction for clean energy development in New Mexico. - xxx -


								
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