State energy fantasia shot down by Senator

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By Roger Snodgrass

Miro Kovacevich fought for what he called a “declaration of energy independence” last month and he won at least a symbolic victory.

Kovacevich is a former banking consultant who played a role in developing the Solar  Energy Research Park and Academy (SERPA) in Española.

His bill passed the New Mexico Legislature with unanimous votes in both chambers, despite its ambitious price tag of $21 billion a year.

It called for $7 billion each to be added annually to the budgets of Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories and another $7 billion annually to establish a national renewable energy administration headquarters and research facilities in Santa Fe.

But Senate Joint Memorial 33 contained no funds itself. Instead it requested the U.S. Congress “to include appropriations in the national stimulus package for, and to recognize the importance of, New Mexico’s pivotal role in the national nuclear energy strategy.”

The bill emphasized solar-thermal and geothermal energy alternatives and called for new solutions to the problem of energy storage for the transportation segment of the economy, as well as aggressive development of vehicles powered by electricity.

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