A bill that would codify the Office of Renewable Energy as a division of the New Mexico State Land Office is headed to the Senate floor.
HB 95 passed the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee on Sunday on a 6-0 vote.
It is sponsored by Rep. Tara Lujan, D-Santa Fe, and Rep. Debra Sariñana, D-Albuquerque.
Having the Office of Renewable Energy codified in state law ensures that future state land commissioners cannot eliminate it.
The legislation previously passed the state House of Representatives on a 48-19 vote. Should the Senate pass HB 95, it will head to the governor’s desk.
Supporters who spoke in favor of it on Sunday included a representative of wind energy developers and a representative of the League of Women Voters of New Mexico and the American Association of University Women.
Meredith Machen, who spoke on behalf of the League of Women Voters of New Mexico and the American Association of University Women, said that the office is important as the state transitions away from fossil fuels.
“We need to face the fact that oil and gas is soon going to be depleted and we need to have alternative energy sources as well as revenues to keep our state funded,” she said.