“We need an all-of-the-above energy strategy because the fastest way to American jobs is American energy,” said U.S. Senate candidate Heather Wilson, a Republican, following her debate with U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich, D.-N.M., in Las Cruces on Wednesday. The KFOX and Las-Cruces Sun-News televised debate offered a stark contrast between the two rivals on how each would help set energy policy in the U.S. Senate.
In the Las Cruces debate, and in last week’s KRQE debate in Albuquerque, Wilson outlined a job-growth agenda and boosting energy development in New Mexico – using all available resources – which she said would also rein in rising electricity and fuel costs.
Daniel Sonntag, our Las Cruces correspondent, interviewed Wilson after the Las Cruces debate about energy policy, beginning with a question about coal in New Mexico.
“New Mexico is an energy producing state: we produce coal, oil, natural gas; we enrich uranium; we get plenty of sun and wind in April,” said Wilson. “I’m an all-of-the-above energy person. With respect to coal, 70 percent of our electricity comes from clean coal-fired generation – mostly from the San Juan County region of the state. And it’s very inexpensive. And we have a 300-year supply of coal in this country. I believe that coal is an asset to be stewarded. Congressman Heinrich believes it’s a liability to be fenced off. He said that coal is a fuel of the past. I believe that coal is an important part of our energy future and he’s off chasing this green dream – while I’m going to fight for these jobs, here and now.”
“He believes New Mexico, with its abundant wind and solar resources, can and should be the epicenter of the clean energy economy…” and cites endorsements from the “Sierra Club, Conservation Voters New Mexico and Defenders of Wildlife.”
The Sierra Club and other green groups reportedly combined to contribute $1.5 million to attack Wilson’s Senate bid, according to The Hill in July.
In addition, Heinrich has reportedly collected more contributions from the environmental lobby than any other Member of the U.S. House, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics — a campaign finance public interest group – cited by the National Republican Senatorial Committee…
“Heinrich Has Taken $105,840 In Environmental Contributions, Making Him The Top Recipient Of Environmental Money In The House So Far In The 2012 Cycle. (Center For Responsive Politics, www.opensecrets.org, Accessed 7/14/12)”
Who Said New Mexico attempted to interview Rep. Heinrich after the Las Cruces debate – specifically with regard to coal policy. His reaction is apparent in the video below…