We were intrigued to read Larry Behrens’ opinion piece on Jan. 8 titled “New Mexico energy workers protect U.S. from Mideast turmoil.” While we agree New Mexican energy workers do protect our national security, Mr. Behrens omits from his piece the thousands (and counting) of renewable energy workers that have been employed in our state for the past decade. With an abundance of clean, world-class renewable energy resources, New Mexico has an opportunity to lead the country’s necessary and imminent energy transition.
The contributions of our state’s oil and natural gas workers to our state’s economy and national security are significant. So, too are the contributions of our state’s renewable energy workforce.
The truth is, New Mexico is blessed with world-class energy resources, including wind and solar, and we can and should benefit from all of them. Last year alone, wind projects in our state accounted for 3,000 jobs, and New Mexico is now ranked third in the nation in wind energy.
As Larry says: “New Mexico’s energy workers help protect our economy and our national security; they deserve all the gratitude we can offer.”
We could not agree more.
Tim Raphael is state coordinator and Ben Kelahan is founder and executive director for ReNew Mexico, a citizen-driven group dedicated to supporting the development of renewable energy projects and related infrastructure throughout New Mexico.