from the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (September 30, 2011) - Clean energy business leaders from across the state today unveiled a series of principles for industry growth at the first-ever statewide renewable energy and clean technology conference, hosted by the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce.
"New Mexico's clean economy already makes up 5.9% of the state's private sector employment and supports over 35,800 jobs," said Allan Oliver, CEO of the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce. "This sector has been growing steadily and supporting New Mexico families, but the future of our economy will depend on whether we can protect the policies and incentives that encourage a transition to cleaner sources of energy and advance clean technologies."
Today's Renewable Energy and Clean Technology: Expanding Opportunities in New Mexico conference, held at the Rio Grande Theater in Las Cruces, drew 150 participants from industry, government, higher education, and research laboratories, as well as federal, state, and local policy-makers.
In anticipation of the conference, the New Mexico Green Chamber interviewed and met with dozens of renewable energy, clean technology, biofuels companies and industry associations in New Mexico and developed a common-sense platform to advance opportunities in the clean economy.
Their multiple recommendations to state and federal policy-makers included:
* Protect and expand the New Mexico Renewable Portfolio Standard, and ensure that it is predictable and supports New Mexico small businesses and job creation.
* Keep incentives for New Mexico's solar, wind biofuels, geothermal, biomass and clean tech to attract new companies and grow local businesses.
* Support responsible development of renewable energy on public lands.
* Protect and extend the state and federal programs that support New Mexico biofuels companies like the federal Renewable Fuels Standard 2, USDA loan guarantees and the "1603" program, and the state B5 biodiesel program.
"New Mexico leads the nation in renewable energy potential, but trails behind other states when it come clean energy development," said Rusty Schmit, CEO CleanSwitch Solar. "We need to tap into this tremendous opportunity to develop clean energy resources and new transmission, done right from the start, in our state. "
Celerah Hewes-Rutledge reporting firstname.lastname@example.org