"Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed sweeping energy legislation on Friday that calls for New Mexico’s major electric utilities to get 100 percent of their power from carbon emission-free sources by 2045.
One of the most ambitious and contentious laws passed during the 60-day legislative session that ended a week ago, Senate Bill 489 also sets up a system for financing the Public Service Company of New Mexico’s closure of a coal power plant in the Four Corners and creates job training programs for the renewable energy industry while extending assistance to laid off coal workers.
The bill’s critics have argued it will still leave PNM customers paying for the company’s investments in the coal industry and do nothing to save the jobs of workers in the sector. But an unlikely coalition of backers, which includes PNM as well as environmental groups and labor unions, views the legislation as a stride in transitioning to clean energy while boosting the expansion of an industry they say has room to grow under the state’s sunny skies and on its windy mesas."