A welcome ally to the environmental movement is emerging: the private sector. El Paso Electric recently announced that its energy mix will be completely coal-free by 2016. This decision comes at a crucial time. The world is getting warmer, our carbon emissions are the leading cause, and our lives are in danger.

In 2014, even Gov. Susana Martinez said: “As governor, I have seen firsthand the effects of our devastating drought. … We’ve seen the one-two punch of wildfires, followed by floods, destroying watersheds and threatening communities.” Because of climate change, we will continue to face unnatural wildfires, continued drought and greater food insecurity from rapidly rising prices for food.

To turn around this deadly trend, we must take responsibility for our energy consumption. El Paso Electric’s move away from coal and and toward solar energy does just that. EPE is a billion-dollar company that serves customers in both Southern New Mexico and Texas. It concluded that change is “in the best interest of its 395,000 customers.” This is especially true because of solar’s low-cost production of 5.8 cents per kilowatt-hour versus the 12.8-cent cost of coal. Meanwhile, Wall Street continues a steady stream of reports indicating that the entire coal industry is in decline, making solar a savvy move for investors.

Popular in the Community