Push for New Energy Standards in New Mexico

State regulators in New Mexico are being asked to create new energy standards to protect consumers and utility shareholders from future environmental regulations.

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas joined some consumer advocates in petitioning the Public Regulation Commission and calling on electric utilities to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 4 percent a year through 2040.

Supporters like Steve Michel with the Western Resources advocates says since carbon dioxide is considered to be a prime contributor to global warming, the reduction would be a major step in helping the environment.

But it will be up to the Commission to decide whether to create new standards.

The request comes as Public Service Co. of New Mexico prepares to shut down part of its coal-fired power plant in the northwest part of the state. PSO has already invested nearly $270 million in 15 solar generation facilities and plans to add more.

Attorney General Balderas told reporters he believes states, cities and businesses have to accept the responsibility of filling a regulatory void.

“This proposed clean energy standard would have New Mexico begin to do that,” he said.

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