October 26, 2009

Udall: Revised Energy and Climate Bill Addresses Many Issues Important to New Mexico

Udall to Participate in Committee Hearings on Bill this Week


WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-NM, today reported that new and revised language in the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act will provide greater benefits for New Mexico while putting the nation on a path toward energy independence.

Udall said the changes strengthen the overall legislation by including provisions that are important to New Mexico and the West, including:

  • Increased support for renewable energy development, including major utility-scale projects
  • Enhanced protections of natural resources and special places from wildfire and drought linked to climate change
  • Increased protections for vulnerable energy consumers, especially working families and rural electric cooperatives
  • Enhanced roles for Indian tribes in developing clean energy and climate solutions
  • Improved compliance options for small and medium domestic oil refineries
  • Valuable new economic opportunities for farmers and ranchers through the Supplemental Agriculture Program
  • Greater role in the Renewable Fuels Standard for innovative sources of biofuels such as algae

Udall, a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), will join his committee colleagues Tuesday for the first in a series of hearings on the legislation.

“While this legislation continues to be a work in progress, this revised language further strengthens the bill by addressing many issues critical to New Mexico and the West,” Udall said. “I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues as we take the next steps in developing legislation that will spur the creation of a clean energy economy and effectively combat global warming. Together, we can lay the cornerstone for decades of economic growth and a stronger, more powerful America.”

The EPW hearings come a month after Udall joined sponsoring Sens. John Kerry and Barbara Boxer, other members of the U.S. Senate, and a diverse coalition of military veterans, working Americans, business leaders and environmental advocates to unveil the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.

A longtime proponent of a “Do It All” energy approach, Udall is a staunch advocate of a national energy policy that includes all of the tools in our energy toolbox - including energy efficiency, solar, wind, biofuels, natural gas, enhanced oil recovery, safe nuclear power and clean coal technologies.

“The West and my home state of New Mexico are rich in renewable energy along with traditional energy sources,” Udall said. “Westerners are eager to help Americans take control of their energy future from special interests and foreign powers.”