Green activists picketed the headquarters of power utility PNM Resources Tuesday, complaining about rising power bills while simultaneously demanding the same company use more wind and solar power.
PNM, New Mexico’s power utility, wants to raise rates by 16 percent so the company can earn enough cash to make longterm investments in clear coal plants and nuclear power. Enviromental groups were furious that the rate hike wouldn’t be used to buy wind or solar power.
“PNM is continuing to invest in old, dirty, toxic technology, and instead, they should be pursuing and converting to renewable energy, including solar and wind power,” Tom Solomon, co-coordinator of the New Mexico branch of the environmental group 350.org, told Public News Service Wednesday.
The protests were attended by 350.org, The Sierra Club, Environment New Mexico, and several other environmental groups. The green energy mandates, subsidies and special financing demanded by the activists cause taxpayers to pay 13.5 to 27 times more for power.
Green energy is partially responsible for rising power prices according to analysis by The Daily Caller News Foundation published in April, which found the average American’s electric bill has gone up 10 percent since January, 2009. The price of power increased mostly because of regulations imposed by President Barack Obama and state governments, even though the price of generating power declined.
Record low costs for generating electricity is thanks to America’s new natural gas supplies, which were created by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. These low generation costs haven’t translated into lower monthly payments for consumers due to new regulations and support for green energy. The price of generating electricity in the eastern U.S. fell by half under Obama, but utilities raised monthly bills for residential customers, according to government data.