Contact: Larry Behrens


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May 20, 2019

Power The Future Uncovers Potential Conflict of Interest in New Mexico Energy Transition Act

SANTA FE – Emails obtained by Power The Future – New Mexico reveal the Secretary of New Mexico’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) relied upon a former employer to help craft the Energy Transition Act (ETA.)  In fact, several environmental groups with out-of-state ties were given the opportunity to craft this controversial legislation that will lead to job losses and increased electric rates all over New Mexico.

“It is outrageous for the eco-left to be writing bills that will impact the lives of thousands of New Mexico’s families when the interests of energy workers were simply cast aside,” said Larry Behrens, Western States Director for Power The Future. “Even more concerning is the appearance that a high-level administration official worked with her former employer in crafting this bill. The ETA is going to cost jobs and harm our economy, and New Mexican’s deserve to know who is behind it.”

According to the emails obtained by Power The Future, the groups who received an inside look at the ETA or were discussed during the drafting process include:

  • The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
  • Western Resource Advocates
  • Environment New Mexico
  • Conservation Voters New Mexico
  • Sierra Club
  • Interwest Energy Alliance

During an email exchange with the NRDC on February 3rd, EMNRD Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst wrote “please make sure that the energy storage language works for Interwest as drafted.” Secretary Cotrrell Propst is the former Executive Director of the Interwest Energy Alliance and was listed as so on their website as recently as this month.

In response to questions about her allowing a former employer to help draft the ETA, Secretary Cottrell Propst respondedThere were just lots and lots of people to coordinate with,” she said. “I certainly wasn’t trying to somehow advantage my former employer. They just happened to be the entity that has the expertise.”

Power The Future’s Behrens countered, “It strains credibility to believe the only group with the needed expertise in drafting this controversial bill was the Secretary’s former employer.”

The Energy Transition Act has been called the “mini Green New Deal” for New Mexico. Signed into law earlier this year, the ETA requires utilities to generate electricity from unreliable sources in the decades ahead. Similar requirements in California have dramatically increased the cost of electricity to families. Additionally, the ETA will cost at least 1,500 jobs in Northwest New Mexico and hundreds more across the state at natural gas generation plants.

About Power The Future

Power The Future is a 501C4 with the mission of offering truth, facts, and research that will enrich the national conversation on energy. Our work is dedicated to energy workers – the men and women who “power the future” through their hard work, sweat, determination and grit.

Paid for by Power The Future, a national organization that advocates for energy workers.