Yesterday, United States Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm finished up a two-day listening tour and visit to New Mexico’s key energy sites with U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) in Albuquerque, Farmington and the Navajo Nation. Secretary Granholm’s visit highlighted the state’s efforts to increase electrification and build new clean energy sources to lower costs, better public health and create more equitable, resilient and efficient communities.
Wednesday, Secretary Granholm and Sen. Heinrich held a listening session with Albuquerque community leaders, including Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury, State Representative Brittney Barreras, NM Voices for Children, Somos Un Pueblo Unido, the Center for Civic Policy, Moms Clean Air Force, and Santa Fe Indian School Leadership Institute. The Secretary and Senator also visited Pajarito Powder to view New Mexico-based innovations in hydrogen technology to support America’s growing electric vehicle infrastructure and toured Kairos Power to see innovations that will advance zero-carbon emission technologies, like cooling technologies for advanced nuclear reactors. An additional discussion focused on electricity transmission and visit with a homeowner installing energy efficient measures on their home rounded out Wednesday’s activities.
“Following the U.S. Senate’s passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Secretary Granholm is excited to join Senator Henrich to see how New Mexico is already positioning itself to leverage these historic investments in transmission to electrification to achieve a clean energy economy,” said a U.S. Department of Energy spokesperson. “From New Mexico’s energy innovation to community-based solutions it is proving you can create good-paying jobs and increase access to healthier, cleaner, and more affordable energy options.”
In Farmington yesterday, Secretary Granholm and Sen. Heinrich toured a blue hydrogen facility before joining a roundtable with Tribal and local leaders to discuss the Biden Administration’s support for creating opportunities clean energy for local and Tribal workforce as the state undergoes its energy transition. The roundtable included Congresswoman Leger Fernandez, State Representative Patty Lundstrom, Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer, and representatives from the San Juan County Commission, Four Corners Economic Development, Western States and Tribal Nations Natural Gas Initiative, Libertad Power Project, Petroleum Recovery Research Center at New Mexico Tech, and San Juan College School of Energy.
Farmington was identified as a top 25 priority energy community in an initial report prepared by the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization. The IWG analysis finds Farmington the 16th most vulnerable area to further job losses related to coal production and consumption.
During her visit, Secretary Granholm also met with Navajo Nation cabinet members, led by Navajo Nation President Nez, to discuss the increasing opportunities for solar and other clean energy development to accelerate the communities energy transition.
“For generations New Mexico’s energy workers, including workers in the Navajo Nation, helped power the state and the nation. Secretary Granholm is pleased to tour the state’s key energy sites and discuss the Biden Administration’s support for creating good paying jobs as the country transitions to a clean energy economy,” said Brian Anderson, PhD, who serves as the Executive Director of the IWG.
The trip follows the U.S. Senate passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – a historic investment in America that will spur much needed investment in energy transmission, electrification, and innovation that will create good-paying jobs and support a more equitable, clean energy economy in New Mexico and across the nation.
Secretary Granholm’s visit and listening tour reinforces the efforts of the IWG. Established by an Executive Order in President Biden’s first week in office, the IWG is pursuing a whole-of-government approach to create good-paying union jobs, spur economic revitalization, remediate environmental degradation and support energy workers in coal, oil and gas, and power plant communities across the country as the U.S. prepares to undergo a historic energy evolution to a carbon emission-free electricity sector by 2035 and economy-wide net-zero emissions by 2050. The initiative is co-chaired by the Director of the National Economic Council (NEC) and the National Climate Advisor, and it is administered by Secretary Granholm.