Live updates: President Biden speaks in Belen

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President Joe Biden visited New Mexico to talk about his administration’s efforts to tackle climate change after a brutal month of record-breaking temperatures in the Southwest.

New Mexico was the second stop of Biden’s three-state tour of the region.


  • President Biden spoke for about 25 minutes, highlighting the impact of the climate-related parts of the Inflation Reduction Act. Why do this in New Mexico? Wind.
  • Biden announced that the Arcosa Wind Tower Factory in Belen will bring new life to a facility that’s been vacant for years. The company’s CEO says since the law passed, it received the biggest order in its history – more than a billion dollars worth of huge, steel towers that hold up wind turbines.
  • Opening the factory will bring about 250 jobs to Valencia County.
  • Another New Mexico tie to this is the SunZia Project – a new transmission line for wind power that’s been talked about for years. The feds gave it final approval late last year and the president said Wednesday it will transport power from the largest wind farm in the western hemisphere – something he would like to expand.
  • So what about the price tag? The administration says it will be paid for through both spending reductions and a tax hike on those in high-income brackets.
  • People from all over the state went to Belen to hear the president’s speech. We talked with folks in Valencia County about their reaction to Biden’s visit.

UPDATE: 5:20 p.m. Wednesday

The Republican Party of New Mexico shared the following statement in response to the president’s speech:

“It’s disappointing President Biden used his trip to our beautiful state as nothing more than a photo opportunity. The President’s speech was completely out-of-touch with the real issues New Mexicans face.

He didn’t address our Governor’s failing education system. He didn’t address his Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s horrible decision to obstruct the financial future of Navajo allottees. He didn’t address our border communities or offer them any solutions to stop the child traffickers, deadly drug smugglers, and cartels who are exploiting our open border. He didn’t address our oil and gas workers, who produce the largest source of revenue in our state and whose jobs are threatened by his administration. Instead, the President came to brag about his ‘Bidenomics’ which has only resulted in higher prices at the pump, escalating food costs and less money in the pockets of hard-working New Mexicans.”

UPDATE: 1:58 p.m. Wednesday

In attendance for Biden’s remarks were:

Mayors: Tim Keller (Albuquerque), Robert Noblin (Belen), Alan Webber (Santa Fe), Joshua Ramsell (Rio Communities)

State Senators: Linda Lopez (District 11), Siah Hemphill (District 28), Gregory Baca (District 29)

State Representatives: Anthony Allison (District 4), Speaker Javier Martinez (District 11), Dayan Hochman-Vigil (District 15), Yanira Gurrola (District 16), Pamelya Herndon (District 28), Raymundo Lara (District 34), Susan Herrera (District 41), Doreen Gallegos (District 52)

Also in attendance were State Treasurer Laura Montoya, Bernalillo County Chair Barbara Baca, Laguna Pueblo Governor Wilfred Herrera and Pueblo Council of Governors Chairman Mark Mitchell.

UPDATE: 1:41 p.m. Wednesday

President Biden wrapped up his speech by expressing hopes for taking the lead on manufacturing on a global stage and encouraging unity toward that goal.

UPDATE: 1:13 p.m. Wednesday

The president took the stage after the following dignitaries spoke:

  • U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Lujan
  • U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
  • Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham
  • Roger Martella, Chief Sustainability Officer for GE Vernova
  • David Lozano Castillo, apprentice for Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 254

U.S. Reps. Teresa Leger Fernandez and Melanie Stansbury also attended. U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez wasn’t in attendance but received mentions from the president and Sen. Lujan.

UPDATE: 12:31 p.m. Wednesday

The presidential motorcade made it to Arcosa Wind Towers. Along the way, protesters and supporters alike waived signs but most bystanders reportedly waved to the motorcade and took pictures.

UPDATE: 11:52 a.m. Wednesday

Protestors are lining the street in Belen, where President Biden will speak this afternoon.

UPDATE: 11:50 a.m. Wednesday

President Biden is set to speak at the brand-new Arcosa wind turbine tower manufacturing plant under construction in Belen.

According to Mark Roper, with the New Mexico Economic Department, the plant will bring 250 new jobs and a $314 million impact to the state.

Roper touted the Inflation Reduction Act for helping bring those jobs in from outside the country.

UPDATE: 9:20 a.m. Wednesday

The president’s visit is all the rage in and around Belen. Here are some observations.

UPDATE: 8:30 a.m. Wednesday

State Senate Republican leader Greg Baca issued the following statement ahead of the president’s visit:

“The Arcosa facility in Valencia County is a bright spot in an otherwise grim economy under President Biden. While I celebrate these new jobs, let’s not forget that good wages only go far in a strong economy. Under Bidenomics, working-class families are being gutted by inflation at the pump and the grocery store. I hope this presidential visit is more than just a politically motivated publicity stunt distracting us from the work needed to improve the lives of all New Mexicans.”

UPDATE: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Biden spoke at a fundraising event shortly after landing. He talked about his accomplishments as president, and announced an upcoming trip to Vietnam.

UPDATE: 5:45 p.m. Tuesday

The president’s motorcade, along with dozens and dozens of local law enforcement officers, has left Kirtland Air Force Base. Biden did not take any questions.

UPDATE: 5:02 p.m. Tuesday

Air Force One has officially touched down in Albuquerque.

There was a slight delay due to the weather.

Once on the ground, the state’s top elected leaders greeted Biden. Leaders include Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan, Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury, and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller.

UPDATE: 4:30 p.m. Tuesday

Air Force One has left Phoenix and is en route to Kirtland Air Force Base. Biden’s motorcade, including the presidential limo, is standing by in a hangar on base.

Biden was at the Grand Canyon earlier Tuesday, where he announced plans to establish a million-acre national monument around the canyon to protect it from potential mining operations.


The Albuquerque Police Department is warning the public about likely traffic delays during President Joe Biden’s visit on Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to APD, drivers are advised to avoid I-25 south of I-40 and I-40 west of the Big-I on Tuesday afternoon, as well as Wednesday morning. It may impact some side streets.

There will be a heavy police presence to block traffic. Police say no parking is allowed along the route for the motorcade. They will tow parked cars along the route.

For a live look at traffic, click here.