Behrens: Green Energy promises lose power when faced with reality
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. It’s a lesson our friends in Europe are learning by paying a steep price right now, and one that New Mexico’s leaders would be wise to avoid.
Our friends on the other side of the Atlantic are learning the hard way that green energy fails when you need it most. The forced transition to unreliable wind and solar power is also already hurting New Mexicans and the current situation in Europe proves it’s likely going to get much worse.
Sadly, leaders in New Mexico are forcing us down a similar path based on false information and broken promises.
Less than a year ago, New Mexico environmental groups and politicians were cheering a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) urging us to “get off the fossil fuel roller coaster now.” Some even referred to the writers as “experts” and lectured us should “heed their analysis.” Unsurprisingly, the experts who argue against oil and natural gas were wrong.
The IEEFA report proudly stated New Mexico’s oil and natural gas industry is on the decline and made the bold statement that the average price of oil would remain below $43 a barrel through 2022.
Not only were these “experts” so very wrong, but their analysis proved false less than two months after their report. Not a single media outlet or environmental group who promoted their work went back to ask them how they could be so far off. This just shows reality has a way of disproving the promises of the green agenda and New Mexico is not immune.
By every measurable objective, the New Mexico Energy Transition Act (ETA) is failing. First, there are the Governor’s claims that she is “driving down energy costs” which are provably false. According to an organization that monitors prices across the nation, New Mexico’s electric bills grew 3.7 percent in just a year and are now higher than the national average.
Sadly, two major electric utilities in the state are also approaching regulators for permission to raise the “Renewable Rate Rider” on families which will add more strain to budgets. Every New Mexican who pays an electric bill knows the price is increasing, but their Governor and her eco-left allies continue to deny reality.
Even worse, New Mexicans are now paying more for electricity that is less reliable. The state’s largest electric utility is scrambling to find more power because of the Energy Transition Act. The Governor and environmental groups are celebrating the closure of a reliable power station but now New Mexicans are facing concerns over brownouts next summer. Forcing expensive green mandates onto families while simultaneously failing to keep the lights on may pass for success in California, but not in New Mexico.
Lastly, the ever-elusive promise of massive green jobs is still unfulfilled. For over a year, New Mexico has ranked near the bottom in unemployment rankings, flying in the face of the Energy Transition Act’s promise of more jobs. Those jobs didn’t show up when Bill Richardson and Joe Biden proposed massive spending over a decade ago, and they haven’t showed up as promised now.
We all were warned about Europe’s current crisis by those who weren’t blinded by the green agenda and the current warnings for New Mexico are no different. Making bad policy based on false predictions has very real consequences.
Let’s hope New Mexico’s leaders figure this out soon, because winter is coming.
Larry Behrens is the Communications Director for Power The Future, an organization fighting for America’s Energy Workers. He previously served as Communications Director for New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez. You can find him on Twitter at @larrybehrens and @PTFNewMexico or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.