In Midst Of An Oil Boom, New Mexico Sets Bold New Climate Goals

New Mexico lawmakers passed a bill this week mandating state utilities use 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. Meanwhile, oil production in the southeast corner of the state is breaking records.
Pumpjacks like this one dot the desert of southeast New Mexico, as oil and gas companies rush to develop one of the largest oil reserves in the world. Source: Nathan Rott

New Mexico, a poor but fossil fuel-rich state, is aiming to make itself a national leader in the fight against climate change.

Lawmakers passed ambitious legislation this week that will reshape the state's energy sector by mandating that the state's publicly regulated utilities get all of their electricity from carbon-free sources like solar and wind by 2045.

California and Hawaii are the only other states with 100 percent carbon-free goals on the books, though a handful of other states are currently considering similar targets.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who has actively championed the legislation --going as far as to pour coffee for lawmakers before a committee hearing on the bill — is expected to sign it into law this week.

Grisham soon after taking office by ordering

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