--2 Miro Image: Lobbyist bets his life on bringing $21 billion to New Mexico
Sept. 23, 2017

Miro Image: Lobbyist bets his life on bringing $21 billion to New Mexico

March 3, 2009, 12:00 am
By SFR Staff

If you die in a dream, do you die in real life? No.

If you promise to die for a dream, will that make the dream real? Maybe.

Depends on the dream and the dreamer.

Española-based energy consultant Miro Kovacevich is floating a $21-billion plan to set up a National Renewable Energy Administration in New Mexico. The scheme would include $7 billion annually for Sandia and Los Alamos National labs and another a $7 billion annually for a headquarters in Santa Fe.

"I'm certain we'll get it all. I'm certain. I put my life on the
line," Kovacevich says.

As president of Vivilux Consulting, Kovacevich has led open meeting in Los Alamos and lobbied in DC for his plan to restructure the country's energy economy around a central scientific administration.

"You need, first and foremost, the best and brightest, 800 to 2000 of them, trans-disciplinary, up close and personal," Kovacevich. "This is essentially both methodically, structurally and conceptually exactly what the Manhattan Project was. This is the Manhattan Project in reverse."

(The comparison is a bit techish: the Manhattan Project was about creating a lot of energy and focusing it in a single moment. This would be about creating a lot of energy and letting it out slowly.)

But if it is a dream, Kovacevich isn't alone in his vision. Santa Fe Green Business Network co-founder Matt Ellis is working closely with Kovacevich to find allies in the New Mexico legislature. Sen. Carlos Cisneros, D-Los Alamos, is the sponsor of SJM 33--an endorsement of Kovacevich's plan--which passed unanimously through the Senate Rules Committee last week. Senate Conservation Committee will hear the bill today.

Though the bill could've been passed on the consent agenda, Kovacevich says he is insisting that it be heard fully by the committees.

"This is to generate big mo to talk with the big O," Kovacevich says. "The point is that I make that customary walk in the woods [in order to get] an hour with the man, and tell him, 'Listen, this is your way to fix the national and global economy fundamentally.  You don't  have any other options to do the job on time, because the world cannot wait.'"

The goal, Kovacevich says, is to wean the continent completely off fossil fuels by 2020. In his opinion, the path begins with setting up a new, NASA-like agency to develop the technology, and using super-capacitors and advanced biofuels as a bridge to solar, thermal and geothermal technology.

"Everything else should be given fair hearings," Kovacevich says. "The point is just to be aggressive, assertive, bold, big enough to make a difference, but small enough to pull it off."

And $21 billion is apparently small enough for Kovacevich to pull off without having to eat a bullet.

"And I'll bring Fiat from Italy just as a sweetener," he says, adding that he's confident he can convince Fiat to produce its new electric car line in New Mexico.

SJM 33 initially called for the $7 billion National Renewable Energy Administration to be based in Santa Fe, but the Senate Rules Committee amended the bill to make any New Mexico city eligible. Kovacevich says he still thinks Santa Fe would be right home for the endeavor, but the question remains: where would Santa Fe put it?

"We would have to look." Mayor David Coss, who supports Kovacevich's plan, tells SFR. "I wouldn't want to put it outside the city limits...But, yeah, for $7 billion it would be pretty big."


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