by Heather Taylor-Miesle NRDC Action Fund, Thu Aug 23, 2012 at 02:16:19 PM EDT
Last year New Mexico was No. 1 in the nation for installing solar power.
It is one of the top states in the country for wind energy.
New Mexicans also benefit from energy efficiency programs. With $8.9 billion in annual energy expenditures each year, energy efficiency programs could save New Mexico residents some serious money – and reduce the amount of toxic power plant emissions they have to breathe as well.
Yet what’s the crux of the energy vision Mitt Romney laid out in New Mexico today?
He wants to get rid of the renewable energy and energy efficiency programs that are employing New Mexicans and saving them money. His solution? Pretend it’s 1900. More drilling, more fossil fuels, more of the same.
In disclosing his so-called energy plan in Hobbs, N.M. today, Romney didn’t even bother to mention that one of our country’s most significant energy savings programs is about to be finalized as early as this week.
The Obama Administration is about to implement new clean car standards that will push average auto mileage to 54.5 per gallon by 2025, saving consumers around $8,000 on gas during the life of a vehicle.
In New Mexico, that also will mean residents will save a total of 135 million gallons of fuel and $575 million when fully implemented – not to mention reducing thousands of tons of tailpipe carbon pollution each year, according to a NRDC analysis released just this week. For a dog’s-eye view of what these standards will mean for America, make sure to check out: http://www.doublethempg.com/
Few issues illustrate the stark differences between Mitt Romney and President Obama like their views on where to take America on energy.
If your desire is to:
- move America backward;
- keep us shackled to Big Oil;
- forever be dependent on foreign oil supplies and the wild price swings in the international oil market; and
- leave the planet in terrible shape for our children.
Then Romney’s your man.
If you want to move America forward, and keep developing the growing clean energy economy that’s benefitting New Mexico and every other state in the country – then remember what President Obama has done so far.
As Bloomberg News reported this week, electricity generated from renewable sources such as wind and solar has increased by 73 percent since President Obama took office. President Obama’s clean energy programs have helped create an estimated 2.7 million clean economy jobs, according to the Brookings Institution. Those are real jobs, providing real paychecks to real Americans, many of whom live and work in New Mexico.
If Congress ignores Mitt Romney and reauthorizes the Production Tax Credit that has already created 75,000 jobs in the wind energy industry (and that many Senate Republicans support), America could get as much as 20 percent of its electricity from wind by 2030.
If Romney and the GOP would stop trying to denigrate and decimate America’s solar industry, we could get as much as 25% of our energy from rooftop solar panels alone in 40 states (51% in Nevada and 52% in California). Instead of focusing on the failures of a few companies, they should be noting the enormous growth in solar overall. Ideology has blinded them, and they can’t see the forest for the trees.
Mitt Romney is simply out of step with the American people on energy policy, as with so much else. In survey after survey, Americans overwhelmingly say they want Congress and the White House to do more to increase clean energy sources in this country, and wean us off of fossil fuels. Those opinions do not differ in New Mexico, which is why we support environmental champion Martin Heinrich in his bid for U.S. Senate. Increasing clean energy sources is good for our economy, good for our health and strengthens our national security.
Either Mitt Romney doesn’t get this message from the American people or our voices are being drowned out by the millions of dollars in campaign contributions from dirty polluters.
It’s your choice. Which America do you want?