Where do we go from here?

Friends, 

Several weeks have passed since the end of the 2019 session of the New Mexico Legislature.  We’ve rested. We’ve evaluated.  And, we have renewed our resolve to push forward again in 2020 for Community Solar across our state.
 
What happened between January and March with HB210/SB281, the Community Solar Act?  In short, Representative Patricia Roybal Cabellero moved the bill swiftly through the House where it was approved in a 42 to 25, largely party line vote.  Then the bill stalled in the Senate.  Not until Tuesday of the legislature’s final week, 22 days later, did Senator Joseph Cervantes bring the bill to his Senate Conservation Committee.  With major modifications and a bill substitute, a version of the original act moved to Senator Richard Martinez’s Judiciary Committee.  The “clock was run out,” and Community Solar never received a final committee hearing.  Once again, the bill died.
 
Where do we go from here?
 
First, members and supporters of the Coalition will gather to discuss new approaches in advancing the Community Solar Act in the 2020 legislative session.  Who else must be involved?  What modifications to the Act must be considered?  What new approaches must be employed?
 
Second, in the months of spring and summer we will be focused on expanding the membership of the Coalition.  Our founding members of Las Cruses, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Santa Fe County were steadfast in their support for the bill during the session. More voices from a broad section of New Mexico’s communities must be invited into the Coalition.   With that expansion, the advocacy for community solar and other key sustainability actions will grow.
 
Third, I share the extraordinary enthusiasm for the Coalition and the first bill which we sought to advance.  The expressions of support and encouragement from so many sectors continued throughout the session: individual legislators, labor, business leaders from in and out of state, Native American communities,  the full spectrum of environmental organization, and dedicated individuals.   Your enthusiasm gave us strength and the commitment to carry on.
 
With the wrap-up of the 2019 session, I want to express again my sincere thanks to Representative Roybal Caballero and Senator Liz Stefanics for carrying the bill forward, to the experts who spent tireless hours offered detailed explanations, and to the hundreds of supporters who attended hearings or communicated directly with legislators.  
 
We are regrouping.  We will grow the Coalition.  We will advance Community Solar again along with other key measures.  More to come in the months ahead.  
 
All the best,
Beth

Community Solar Act Makes it Through the House!

The Community Solar Act cleared the New Mexico House of Representatives on Monday February 19 on a largely party line vote of 42 to 25. Action on this critical piece of renewal energy legislation now moves to the New Mexico Senate. Up first will be the Senate Conservation Committee on a date to be determined - and we will keep you posted!

Our sincere thanks to all who supported the Act, and a special shout out to Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero (D13) and Representative Melanie Stansbury (D 28) for their articulate defense of the Act and meticulous analysis of the substitute bill introduced to undermine the core of HB210.

Community solar is a key piece of New Mexico’s future.  It means cleaner, cheaper, better energy across the state.  Our bill will empower New Mexicans to access solar power — without installing solar panels on your property. The idea is to allow citizens to build shared “solar gardens,” where households, businesses, and local governments can get their energy. The legislation holds great possibilities for communities, counties, pueblos, nations, and tribes across the state.  
 
Our Coalition, now comprised of the Cities of Las Cruces, Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Santa Fe County, has worked for months to come to this opportunity.  

Now, as the Community Solar Act moves to the Senate, it is time for a major push! Please urge your New Mexico Senators and let them know that you want to see Community Solar in New Mexico! You can find your Senator's contact information here.
 

Stay In Touch: 
 
Keep up with CSCNM by following us on Facebook and checking out our website.
 
Thank you for your continued support of the Coalition of Sustainable Communities New Mexico. 

Beth Beloff
CSCNM Executive Director

CSCNM Expands, Act Now for Community Solar!

CSCNM Expands 

February 4, 2019


What an exciting time for members and supporters of our Coalition of Sustainable Communities New Mexico!  By Executive Order, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham joined the U.S. Climate Alliance supporting the 2015 Paris Agreement.  The Legislature is deliberating a host of renewable energy, sustainability, and resource conservation bills.  And, the Coalition is growing.

We are delighted to report that in the last days of January the City of Santa Fe and Santa Fe County joined the Coalition pledging their support for expanded climate action through legislation, administrative action and rule-making.  They join the Cities of Las Cruces and Albuquerque as founding members.  
 

Act Now for Community Solar!


Meanwhile, our Community Solar Act cleared the House Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee with a “Do Pass” and is headed to the House Judiciary Committee.  The Coalition championed the bill carried by Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero (HB210) and Senator Liz Stefanics (SB281). 

Progress of the Community Solar Act is due to the extraordinary support of a host of partners: our Coalition members, Vote Solar, Conservation Voters of New Mexico, New Energy Economy, and more.  Advancing the Community Solar Act and other key pieces of legislation is only possible when we work together for all the citizens, now and in the future, of New Mexico.

On Friday, February 8th, the House Judiciary Committee will take up HB210.  Add your support by attending the hearing and sharing your views.  Add your support by calling or emailing your representative on the committee.
 
Our new website is now live!  And, you can follow us on Facebook.  Spread the word to your elected city or county leaders asking them to join the Coalition!

Questions and administrative concerns; contact us at info@coalitionscnm.org. For everything else, you can reach me personally at beth@coalitionscnm.org.  Forward together! 
 


Beth Beloff
CSCNM Executive Director

1-18-19 Update

CSCNM Champions Community Solar

January 18, 2018
Welcome to the Coalition of Sustainable Communities New Mexico (CSCNM) Newsletter! This is our very first newsletter – you can expect to receive one from us about once a month. 
 
Here at CSCNM, we are committed to advocating for legislation, regulations and administrative action that support local governments – our members – in meeting their climate commitments and strengthen energy choices, sustainability, and equity. 

This legislative session, we have a tremendous opportunity to take meaningful climate action in New Mexico by passing legislation that will support our state’s just transition towards a clean energy future. 
 
The first major bill advanced by CSCNM for the 2019 New Mexico legislative session is the Community Solar Act, sponsored by Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero and Senator Liz Stefanics. The Coalition’s lobbyist is JD Bullington. The Community Solar Act will help communities, individuals, and organizations throughout New Mexico benefit from the development of small-scale solar energy facilities. It will provide solar energy to all regardless of income or building ownership, and will further develop a strong renewable energy industry and related jobs in New Mexico.

CSCNM worked hard over the past many months to draft this legislation and convene stakeholders to build consensus on this important bill. We secured initial support from the mayors of the state’s three largest cities: Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces, as well as several environmental organizations representing members throughout the state.
 

Stay In Touch: 
 
Keep up with CSCNM by following us on Facebook. Our new website should be up next week - stay tuned! 
 
We have a dedicated team of volunteers and part-time staff who make the operation of the Coalition possible. For general inquiries and administrative concerns, contact us at info@coalitionscnm.org. For anything and everything else, you can reach me personally at beth@coalitionscnm.org. We look forward to hearing from you! 
 
Thank you for your continued support of the Coalition of Sustainable Communities New Mexico. The time for bold climate action and sustainability is now, and we have an exciting journey ahead of us in 2019!


Beth Beloff
CSCNM Executive Director

12-20-18 Update

CSCNM Status Update!

Dear Friends,

It is with great excitement that I write with a brief update about the Coalition of Sustainable Communities New Mexico’s (CSCNM) work at the close of 2018, heading into the 2019 state legislative session.

Membership:
To date, the cities of Albuquerque, Las Cruces are our founding members. Santa Fe City and Santa Fe County are next in line for Coalition membership. We are actively reaching out to other cities, counties, and tribes throughout the state to invite them to join CSCNM, and we expect to grow our membership quickly. Please get in touch if your community or organization might be interested in joining!

Legislation:
The first major bill advanced by CSCNM for the 2019 New Mexico legislative session is the Community Solar Act, which will help communities and organizations throughout New Mexico benefit from the development of small-scale solar energy facilities.

Communications:
We have recently launched a Facebook page! Please show your support by “liking” our page and sharing it within your networks. For email updates, shortly you will be added to a CSCNM listserv – please elect to join. As a member of this list you will receive a monthly newsletter informing you of CSCNM happenings, and up-to-date news on the Community Solar Act during the legislative session. Finally, our new website is under construction! Stay tuned for an official launch in early January.

Team:
We have a dedicated team of volunteers and part-time staff who make the operation of the coalition possible. For general inquiries and administrative concerns, contact us at info@coalitionscnm.org. For anything and everything else, you can reach me personally at beth@coalitionscnm.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you for your continued support of the Coalition of Sustainable Communities New Mexico. The time for bold climate action and sustainability is now, and we have an exciting journey ahead of us in 2019!

Wishing you all a happy holiday season,

Beth
Beth Beloff
CSCNM Executive Director