For Immediate Release:
March 30, 2022
Contact: Jerri Mares – (505) 321-4372
State, Local and Industry Leaders Meet to Begin Discussions of the State’s Preparedness for Extreme Heat Events During a Clean Energy Transition
ALBUQUERQUE, NM— Yesterday, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas kicked off the Energy Security Investigation Task Force with a virtual meeting of state, local, and industry leaders. More than 25 attendees appeared virtually, ranging from Cabinet officials, local county and city emergency management personnel, first responders, utility company representatives, humanitarian organizations, and advocates for vulnerable populations. Yesterday’s gathering was the beginning of discussions around their communities’ preparedness for extreme heat events and potential power outages. Attorney General Balderas called together the Task Force after reports that extreme heat events coupled with potential rolling blackouts were possible this summer.
“We must be prepared to protect our vulnerable communities if a heat wave causes a blackout,” said Attorney General Balderas. “We will continue to work with state and local leaders, experts, and first responders to ensure there are clear lines of communication and adequate resources in the event of an energy emergency in our state.”
Extreme heat can be a silent killer. Last year, in the Pacific Northwest alone it is estimated that the extreme heat events contributed to more than 600 deaths. Anyone that works outside, or has an underlying condition is at risk. Those that are pregnant, have asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, senior citizens, homeless; anyone who can’t afford air conditioning–these people are all vulnerable to heat sickness and death.
“The Attorney General has chosen a perfect time to begin discussions on these types of issues,” said City of Las Vegas Mayor Louie Trujillo. “The task force consortium is well rounded and the expertise around the table today will better prepare the state in how it responds to energy emergencies in the future.”
The Task Force will meet regularly and focus on adequate backup generation, response times, identify vulnerabilities, and further assess readiness to respond to worst-case-scenarios during a blackout emergency.