Wind energy could reduce pollution by three coal plants

Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center

Albuquerque, NM — The carbon pollution from more than three coal plants could be eliminated in New Mexico if wind power continues its recent growth trajectory, according to a new analysis by Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center. The analysis comes just as Congress considers whether to renew tax credits critical to wind development.

“Wind power can replace the dirty energy sources of the past and the pollution that comes with them,” said Sanders Moore, director of Environment New Mexico Research & Policy Center.  “But Congress needs to act now to ensure a clean energy future.”

Continued, rapid development of wind energy would allow the renewable resource to supply 30 percent of the nation’s electricity by 2030, providing more than enough carbon reductions to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan.

Wind power projects near Tucumcari and Deming already produced enough energy in 2013 to power more than 201,000 homes.

“Wind energy has been a part of the New Mexico heritage for a long time,” stated Mike LaVine, contractor with All Star Electric Company. “Land owners, ranchers and farmers in eastern New Mexico have been anticipating the expansion of wind power. Their time has come. Clean abundant energy is here.”

The report, More Wind, Less Warming, comes days after the comment period closed for the Clean Power Plan, which Congressional leaders are trying to block. The analysis also comes as lawmakers jockey over the fate of wind energy tax credits in the nation’s spending plan, due to be adopted next week.

“New Mexico is at the eye of the storm when it comes to the impacts of climate change. But while global warming is a threat we must fight, it’s also a tremendous opportunity to invest in clean energy jobs of the future,” said Senator Tom Udall. “Wind has huge potential — not only is it carbon free, it’s abundant in New Mexico, and it uses almost no water. Now is the time for Congress to make a commitment to fight climate change and help create jobs of the future by extending the wind production tax credit — not just for one year but long enough for this important industry to meet its full potential.”

America has the potential to power itself ten times over with wind that blows both over land and off the East Coast. 

“Wind power is poised to play a major role in New Mexico’s energy future and can create jobs all over the state,”  added Cary Lane, owner of Energy Concepts. “We need Congress to extend the tax credits for wind energy so we keep moving forward.”

“Speeding the development of pollution-free wind energy will slow global warming,” said Moore. “That’s why our leaders should invest now in healthy air and a healthy planet.”