Wind, so­lar power are good for NM

Albuquerque Journal - - OP-ED - G.E. NORDELL Rio Com­mu­ni­ties

THE RIO Grande Foun­da­tion claims to be non­par­ti­san, but it is not: a good por­tion of its fund­ing is from the State Pol­icy Net­work, which is partly funded by the Koch Brothers and other pol­luters.

The Rio Grande Foun­da­tion’s re­cent let­ter/ op-ed in the Jour­nal (May 12) is filled with pro­pa­ganda that is in­tended to pre­vent progress in re­new­able en­ergy in New Mex­ico.

One point that is eas­ily re­but­ted is Rio Grande Foun­da­tion’s claim the pro­duc­tion tax credit of $24 per megawatt is “an enor­mous sum.” The 1992 fed­eral law that per­tains here man­dates a 1.5 cent tax credit per kilo­watt. Such pro­duc­tion tax cred­its are payable for 10 fis­cal years, while typ­i­cal so­lar pan­els are war­ranted for 25 years.

The tax credit has been in­creased for in­fla­tion; the cur­rent 2.4 cent per kilo­watt pro­duc­tion tax credit is still much lower than the charge on my PNM bill of 8.3 cents per kilo­watt. This in­cen­tive has PNM build­ing hun­dreds of acres of so­lar and wind farms around New Mex­ico.

Pro­duc­tion of elec­tric­ity by so­lar and wind and other re­new­ables is a very good deal for New Mex­ico. Just not so good for the Rio Grande Foun­da­tion and the fos­sil-fuel com­pa­nies who fund it.

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