CSCNM Roars into its Second Year

Dear Friend,

Our past several months have been very busy for the Coalition for Sustainable Communities New Mexico (CSCNM). I want to share some highlights with you in this Newsletter:

August 8th Membership Meeting

The Coalition conducted its first Annual Membership Meeting, hosted by the City of Albuquerque. We experienced tremendous enthusiasm and great ideas from the elected officials representing each of the four founding members: Mayors Tim Keller of Albuquerque, Alan Webber of Santa Fe, Ken Miyagishima of Las Cruces, and Commissioner Anna Hansen from Santa Fe County, as well as their key staff.

Members unanimously elected Mayor Alan Webber to serve as the Coalition’s first Chair and Mayor Tim Keller as the Vice-Chair, both for 2-year terms. Together with Executive Director, Beth Beloff and staff, the two Mayors will work to guide a growing Coalition in its primary areas of service: advocacy, collaboration and networking, and solutions development.

The Coalition’s proposed governing policies and membership dues structures are currently being reviewed by each Member and their legal teams.

Community Solar

While the Coalition is currently working closely with each Member to define its priority areas of focus for the coming year, there continues to be keen Member support for the passage of state legislation that would allow Community Solar in New Mexico.

In the 2019 legislative session, the Coalition worked closely with a strong group of stakeholders to pass the Community Solar Act (HB210), sponsored by Representative Roybal Caballero and Senator Stefanics. As you recall, it passed the House 42-25 but didn’t make it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which was canceled in the final few days of the session. The Coalition continues to play a leadership role with numerous other stakeholders redrafting last session’s legislation, increasing the network of support for the legislation, and honing its strategy for the coming legislative session in 2020.

The passage of Community Solar legislation supports several key areas of the Coalition’s mission by increasing consumer choice, reducing the cost of electricity, providing access to clean energy generation especially for low-income households and those who rent property, as well as stimulating local economic development opportunities. For more information about the benefits of Community Solar please stay tuned as we will provide a petition requesting that the Governor support community solar in New Mexico.

Ongoing

The Coalition is actively reaching out to new cities, counties, and Native American communities who could benefit from and support the Coalition’s work as new Members.

The Coalition’s Policy focus for the upcoming year is currently being finalized.

The Coalition and the Santa Fe Community Foundation are applying to the UN to participate in COP26 in November 2020 to advance further the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Our Coalition is playing a key role in unifying the voices of elected officials across New Mexico. Our focus remains on climate action and sustainability. We are enthusiastic about the year ahead! Thank you for your sustained interest as we move forward together.

Sincerely,

Beth Beloff
Executive Director

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