This op-ed was authored by Jeremy, Josie, and Caitlin Vesbach. Jeremy is the Lands Program Director for Western Resource Advocates and has spent his professional career working to protect Western lands. Josie is in ninth grade and Caitlin is in sixth grade. It originally appeared in the Albuquerque Journal.
We are lucky to call New Mexico home. In the fall, you might find us elk hunting in the Gila National Forest; spring, hiking in the Sandia Mountains; and summer, fishing in the Pecos Mountains. For an outdoors-loving family, New Mexico is hard to beat.
But the New Mexico our family and many others know and love is at risk due to climate change. While scientists say the greatest impacts are yet to come, we and a growing number of New Mexico families are already seeing the impacts of climate change in the form of increasingly severe drought and wildfires and the resulting stress on fish and wildlife. We know there is a limited window of time to address this challenge for our family and the generations that come after us.
We are proud to live in a state that is now leading the nation with smart, proactive solutions to address climate change. The Energy Transition Act, recently signed into law by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, will help our state move away from expensive fossil fuels toward cleaner and more affordable renewable energy. New Mexico is rich in wind and solar resources, and the Energy Transition Act will help us to take advantage of these resources to power our homes, businesses and schools. It will also bring jobs and economic growth to our state. Just last week, an Arizona electricity company announced it is building a major wind farm in southeastern New Mexico. This will be Tucson Electric Power’s largest renewable-energy project, and construction should begin later this year.