Are Electricity Shortages Coming?

In this week's Intelligencer, New Mexico's energy grid on shaky ground, Senate Democrats' parliamentary corruption exposed, a fresh batch of primary elections across the country has partisan intrigue baked-in, and American investments in Chinese military tech scrutinized.

The Intelligencer is a weekly newsletter that gives you a quick overview of La Politica across New Mexico and the U.S., covering topics such as policy, current events, the political landscape, and tech.

Send us any feedback (including chismes and quejas) by going to our website or shoot me an email at dax[AT]nmhispanos.com. And if you are not already subscribed, sign up here.


Dax Contreras
Executive Director, Hispanos Unidos

1.  Electricity supplies can't keep up with demand amid wind and solar mandates  

Details: Across the U.S., but especially in states with hyperaggressive wind and solar energy mandates such as New Mexico and California, electric grid operators are waving red flags, warning that their ability to generate power is not keeping up with anticipated demand as traditional power plants are shut down faster than are they being replaced by variable, renewable energy sources (with some type of battery storage capability). This gap between available generating capacity and soaring demand could lead to blackouts and brownouts later this year.

Background: We have covered extensively (as recently as two weeks ago) the dangers of following the failed California energy model, but the situation keeps getting worse. The Albuquerque Journal reports that a trade dispute "disrupting solar development in New Mexico and across the country is now threatening Public Service Company of New Mexico’s projected power supply for summer 2023, once again raising the specter of potential blackouts next year."

In short, the U.S. does not manufacture the solar panels used in the construction of solar energy systems, and some Southeast Asian countries are alleged by the U.S. Commerce Department of evading tariffs.

Why it matters: Not only do renewable energy mandates degrade the reliability of our energy grid, tragically, there seems to be little concern given by the radical environmentalists to the serious problems of relying on foreign sources of solar panels. For example, the manufacturing process produces 300 times more toxic waste than high-level nuclear waste. But since that pollution occurs elsewhere the radical environmentalists do not give it much thought.

Furthermore, why are we relying on foreign sources for our energy needs? Policy makers should instead prioritize American energy sources, such as nuclear and natural gas, that create jobs here and puts us firmly in control of our own energy future.

2. “If it’s true that two people somehow have the ability to rescind it, that’s very undemocratic,” Sen. Bill Tallman, D-Albuquerque

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Education deformed: In February, the Senate voted 36-0 in favor of Senate Bill 30, which would have asked the Legislative Finance Committee to investigate the public school system’s administrative spending. SM30 also requested LFC staff to craft legislation intended to move budget dollars from pay raises (for bureaucrats) to the classroom.

Senate tricksWithin hours after voting for SB30, Senator Bill Soules (D), chairman of the Senate Education Committee, pushed the Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth to kill the bill and Wirth nudged the sponsor, Bobby Gonzales to go along.

But was it legal?: According to the Lt. Governor’s office, a public proceeding is required to overturn a vote. But Wirth never told the full Senate what they did.

Meanwhile, another co-sponsor, Sen. Bill Tallman (D) from Albuquerque, said it was only after noticing a ‘cryptic’ note in some paperwork that he learned the bill was “expunged” by the bosses. And like that, a 36-0 unanimous vote was voided. “I can’t understand why it’s so controversial that they’d take such a drastic step to kill it.”

Is Sen. Tallman naïve or does he know all too well why the Unions who control our school system would do whatever it takes to kill education reform in New Mexico?

3. Primary races narrow down the field

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Build back brokenTuesday saw a wave of primary elections with some interesting results in several states: Kentucky, Idaho, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. In Oregon’s Democratic Party showdown, President Joe Biden endorsed Rep. Kurt Schrader –who trails by over 20 percentage points, though the race hasn't been officially called.

Ultra-MAGA?: And over in Pennsylvania, the race is still too close to call as the Trump endorsed Senate candidate and celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz is neck and neck with former hedge fund manager David McCormick. Kathy Barnette, the dark horse candidate with a late surge made herself a target with some social media posts and ultimately fizzled.

The big picture: It’s clear that the Democrats are bracing for a mid-term beatdown. But New Mexico appears, so far, to be the exception proving that rule. An activist press more interested in fighting carbon than finding the truth, and a disorganized Republican Party makes it all the more important for conservatives in the state to not only vote their values, but volunteer time and energy to defeat the radical Left.

4. Are American Investors Helping the Chinese Military?

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Details: A recent report highlights the national security risks of some American foreign direct investment (FDI), sometimes referred to as “outbound investment.”  According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis at the Department of Commerce, $2.5 billion in U.S. venture capital went to the Chinese technology industry. In 2020, American FDI amounted to $6.15 trillion, up $244.9 billion from 2019.

What they're saying: Klon Kitchen, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a 15-year veteran of the intelligence community, gives a specific example of the conflict of interest at play:

4Paradigm is one of China’s leading artificial intelligence (AI) companies and specializes in applying AI across large enterprises. The company is currently helping the Chinese military deploy its Sage HyperCycle capability, a “automatic decision-making machine learning platform.” The Chinese navy, as just one example, is thought to be using this platform for combat tasking and “intelligent loss management.” Put simply: If the United States were to go to war with China, this software suite would likely be used by the Chinese to kill our sailors and to defeat our ships. Sequoia [a U.S. venture capital firm] is the company’s largest foreign investor, and this is only one of the problematic investments. 

What we're watching: The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) was created in 1975 to review foreign investments and acquisitions inside the United States for national security concerns. There currently is no equivalent for investments in the opposite direction. While slow to move, the sheer size and growth of American FDI is drawing additional scrutiny from Washington and beyond.

 

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