New Mexico Fossil Fuel Letter

The Honorable Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham,
New Mexico State Capitol
490 Old Santa Fe Trail #400
Santa Fe, NM 87501


Dear Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham,

We, the undersigned, commend you and are grateful for your achievements working with the legislature on measures to tackle the climate cries. This July’s announcement to become the first in line to receive zero emissions cars and trucks from auto manufacturers is groundbreaking. Now it’s time to take the next big step together. Our Office of Renewable Energy states, “New Mexico has an abundance of sunshine, wind and geothermal resources, making it a natural location for renewable energy production and clean energy jobs.” It goes on to say, “Taken together, New Mexico has more renewable energy potential than any other state.”

In 2022 New Mexico’s clean energy sector employed 12,000 workers, an increase of 8.1% from 2021, the highest rate of job growth in the country. Small businesses accounted for nearly 56% of clean energy jobs. Earnings from clean energy jobs are 11.7% higher than the state’s medium wage. A report, Forecasting U.S. Clean Energy Job Creation by State, projects more than 39,500 additional renewable energy jobs will come to New Mexico by 2050.

In contrast, dirty energy is harming our state. Oil and gas operators spill toxic liquid waste an average of four times per day in New Mexico. Too often, these toxic spills affect streams, groundwater, and public lands. Every year, the fossil fuel industry turns 14 billion gallons of water into toxic waste to drill, frack, and produce wells – equivalent to the amount of water used by an eighth of New Mexico’s population.

Sadly, more than 20% of the state’s Indigenous residents and 144,000 additional residents live within the half-mile threat radius that is correlated with adverse health outcomes, including cancer, respiratory illness, fetal defects, blood disorders, and neurological problems stemming from chemicals associated with oil and gas production. 

We are often told that the oil and gas industry is the key to New Mexico’s economic prosperity. If that were true, New Mexico would not rank 50th in education, 49th in terms of preparing citizens to succeed, and have the 44th worst economy of all states.

We can turn around these tragic trends with the help of clean energy, which can be a bigger driver of our shared prosperity than fossil fuels. According to our Office of Renewable Energy, we have approximately nine million acres of land available for lease for renewable energy companies. Clean energy leasing, “could earn more money for State Trust Land beneficiaries – which include public schools, universities, and hospitals throughout the state – while creating jobs, and saving taxpayer money.”

As governor of New Mexico, you have a historic opportunity to lead our nation and protect our people from escalating climate disasters, including dangerous drought, heat waves, and fires. We respectfully request you take action on the following:

  • Commission a comprehensive governmental study of the environmental and public health impacts regarding the water usage of fossil fuel extraction during a mega-drought to inform state policy, and expand the existing moratorium  to any permit that will pollute groundwater, until the conclusion of the study.  
  • Create and implement a state action plan to achieve our Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) of 100% clean energy by 2045, including 50% renewable generation by 2030 and 80% renewable generation by 2040 to include but not limited to legislation/rules to boost clean energy, transmission upgrades, smart grids, distributed energy, storage, and clean energy finance. 
  • Increase the number of clean energy natural resource projects such as solar, wind, and geothermal. Ensure the Office of Renewable Energy and PRC have all the necessary authority to accelerate the utility transmission to 100% clean energy. 
  • Protect the health of communities from pollutants that emanate from fossil fuel production, starting with the implementation of a mile human health and safety buffer zone around all homes, hospitals, schools, playgrounds and public meeting places. This will begin to address the severe environmental injustice from these toxic pollutants in low-income communities and communities of color.

We need a plan to achieve 100% clean, renewable energy in all sectors, starting with significant investments in clean energy, weatherization, and electric transportation options for disadvantaged communities and areas that are already suffering from the worst impacts of fossil fuel extraction and the climate crisis.

We look to you to provide the leadership we need for a safe, healthy, and prosperous New Mexico.

Respectfully yours,


Members, Elected Officials to Protect America

Add Your Voice

If you are a current or former N.M elected official, please fill out the form and then click on SIGN YOUR NAMEat the end to do so. Thank you.

If you would like to take addition action to support building a cleaner, healthy, and safe New Mexico please email Alex Cornell du Houx at or give us a call at 207-319 4511.

NameElected Position or TitleElected Municipal or District
Anthony AllisonState RepresentativeDistrict 4
Joanne FerraryState RepresentativeDistrict 37
William SoulesState SenatorDistrict 37
Debbie SarinanaState RepresentativeDistrict 21
Antoinette Sedillo LopezState SenatorDistrict 16
Mimi StewartState SenatorDistrict 17
Eliseo AlconState RepresentativeDistrict 06
Carrie HamblenState SenatorDistrict 38
Kristina OrtezState RepresentativeDistrict 42
Tara LujanState RepresentativeDistrict 48
Shannon PintoState SenatorDistrict 03
Andrea RomeroState RepresentativeDistrict 46
William TallmanState SenatorDistrict 18
Harold Pope Jr.State SenatorDistrict 23
Stephanie Garcia RichardNM Commissioner of Public LandStatewide
Tammy FiebelkornCity CouncilorCity of Albuquerque
Yanira GurrolaRepresentativeDistrict 16