WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, joined energy leaders to advocate for wind power and showcase New Mexico’s potential to be at the epicenter of America's clean energy economy.
The event, organized by the American Wind Energy Association, emphasized the economic power of wind. Last year, wind energy passed hydro as the nation’s leading source of renewable energy. Wind energy is also the nation's fourth-largest electricity generation source.
In his remarks Senator Heinrich emphasized how wind energy powers the economy and also provides an incredible opportunity to create jobs in rural communities. He noted that wind and solar jobs are growing 12 times faster than the rest of the economy. And New Mexico itself stands to gain thousands of clean energy jobs in the coming years.
"Wind energy supports thousands of jobs in New Mexico. Wind technician is the fastest growing job in the nation today and nearly every one of them works in a rural county,” said Sen. Heinrich. “With our incredible potential for both solar and wind alongside innovative research and development at our national laboratories and universities, New Mexico is poised to become a major producer and exporter of clean power.”
New Mexico has been leading the way in renewable energy. Last year, Senator Heinrich visited the North American Wind Research and Training Center at Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari, New Mexico. He saw up close how wind farms are training students and workers for long-term, high-paying technician jobs across the state.
Senator Heinrich is committed to fighting for every opportunity to build clean energy projects and create new jobs. He spearheaded efforts in 2015 to extend the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy for five years, which provides substantial certainty in an industry that has been plagued by one year at a time tax policy. These types of efforts are crucial especially since there are several major clean energy projects breaking ground in rural communities in New Mexico from Torrance to Curry Counties.