• April 22nd, 2024
  • Monday, 05:23:16 AM

We Need to Move Forward on a Path to Clean Energy


 

Alejandra Gonzalez

 

 

I am a mother organizer with Together for Brothers, (T4B) and live with my family on the West Mesa of Albuquerque. We purchased the house we currently live in 14 years ago. After several years of high electricity bills and a large month-to-month variance, we began exploring affordable options to lower our expenses. We had to decrease our costs.

 

We began to take seriously the idea of making a clean energy transition because the COVID pandemic caused much higher electricity costs to the point that my last electric bill came to $415.71. We decided to look into a solar energy system for our house, and two years ago, we installed it. A solar powered system turned out to be our best option. With the financing we chose and the tax incentives, both federal and state, my lower payment would be the same month to month, and for a time, our economic stability as a family would no longer be in jeopardy.

 

Another benefit was that we began to take action and be part of the transition to clean energy and a better environment for my four children and future generations.

 

As I have become more informed, my family and I have become aware of how air pollution affects all people, and how climate change affects our planet. We are seeing the proof of climate change in the wildfires, which are difficult to end because of the droughts the state faces.

 

Vehicle manufacturers must be regulated to stop polluting the air we all breathe.

 

In New México, the Latino population is directly and disproportionately affected by climate change, especially low-income families. Being aware of the damage to the environment, to our families and to ourselves leads us to make decisions that take climate change into account, evaluating the different options and choosing the one that best changes this pattern of destruction to our planet and our health.

 

I live in the West Mesa area of Albuquerque, where Interstate 40 crosses and through which family vehicles and a large number of medium- and heavy-duty trucks travel. There are industrial warehouses and heavy-duty vehicle stations, among other types of industry. Transportation is the second largest source of health- and climate-damaging pollution in New Mexico. Vehicle manufacturers must be regulated to stop polluting the air we all breathe. Decision makers must consider and take action to mitigate the damage our communities face from this pollution. We can ensure a swift transition to zero-emission trucks and protect our health by passing the Advanced Clean Trucks standards. Together for Brothers is joining a broad coalition of more than 20 New Mexican climate, environmental justice, and business groups that have asked the state Environmental Improvement Board and the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board to approve the rules before the end of 2023.

 

Personally, I am committed to organizing to be part of the change and continue to take action that will benefit my family’s health and economy. My next goal will be to own my own electric car and continue to advocate for more access to information, resources, action by elected officials in Spanish and policy change for our community.

 

 

Alejandra Gonzalez is a Mother Organizer with Together for Brothers, a nonprofit that is building the capacity of boys and young men of color to be leaders at all levels in their communities.