Slowlar Energy: When it comes to renewable energy, New Mexico has loads of potential but some crippling disadvantages, according to a 157-page draft report by the state Economic Development Department released Aug. 17.
Citing estimates by the Western Governors’ Association, the report says New Mexico has the capacity to generate more renewable energy—27,000 megawatts annually—than any place between the Texas panhandle and British Columbia, Canada. For comparison, Public Service Company of New Mexico had a total generation capacity of 2,313 megawatts as of Dec. 31, 2008, according to the company’s last annual report.
“Real installations have not yet matched the potential of our solar resource. For example, PNM ranked 44th out of 93 utilities in terms of photovoltaic watts installed per customer,” the state report says. In addition, PNM’s 2010 renewable energy plan calls for “less than 1108 kW [of solar] for their ‘Small PV’ residential program,” a low target that “will not be sufficient to grow our solar industry in New Mexico.”
Furthermore, for all the recent talk of green energy, New Mexico’s commitment has lagged. Last year, the report says, New Mexico’s budget for solar-energy incentives was $5 million, compared to $295 million in California. Granted, California has more people, but the report notes that California’s per capita investment was larger, as well.
The draft “New Mexico Green Jobs Cabinet Report,” which is open for public comment through Aug. 27, can be found at gonm.biz.
Bird-Dogging CHRISTUS: Former Fort Worther Steve Stockdale moved to Santa Fe just a few months ago, but he’s already stirring the pot.
Stockdale, whose background includes stints at both nonprofit organizations and for-profit corporations that have undergone mergers, took note of the controversies surrounding CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center and whether the merged entity’s new staunch-Catholic board is being totally honest about its commitment to providing services forbidden by the church, such as tubal ligations.
“There’s a lot of opportunity here for ambiguity and misrepresentation…It just seems like every time I asked a question, I got three or four more questions as an answer,” Stockdale says.
After scouring the web for articles and corporate documents, Stockdale started a blog, discern-this.com, devoted to muckraking and analysis of the hospital and its issues.
“I put in a lot of work finding this stuff; I thought I ought to make it available,” Stockdale says. “If somebody gets denied service, it would at least be a paper trail.”