Beyond Coal

Beyond Coal

Sierra Club reaction on new state plan on San Juan coal plant

SJGS © WildEarth Guardians

The state of New Mexico and PNM announced Friday afternoon that they had struck a deal with the EPA to close units 2 and 3 of the four-unit San Juan coal plant and put pollution controls that are less expensive but less effective on the remaining two units to reduce nitrogen oxide. Below is the Sierra Club's response.

Thousands of activists have joined our campaign transition away from coal at San Juan and everywhere to protect our children from health-damaging pollution and disastrous climate consequences. If this deal goes through, you have succeeded in shutting down nearly 900 megawatts of coal -- enough to power 900,000 homes. No jobs will be lost, and PNM will invest at least $1 million into the Four Corners area for economic development.

However, the deal specifies only natural gas as a replacement power, not renewables or efficiency. The Sierra Club will continue to work to clean up the air in the Four Corners area and across the country.


EPA rejects state’s San Juan coal plan

By Mona Blaber and John Buchser

In the previous Sierran, we reported to you that the state of New Mexico had proposed closing the two smallest units at Northern New Mexico’s coal-fired San Juan Generating Station as an alternative to EPA-required pollution controls on all four units of the plant.


NM: Close 2 units of San Juan Generating Station

SJGS © WildEarth Guardians

New Mexico Environment Department on Oct. 2 announced that it is proposing to retire two of the four units at coal-powered San Juan Generating Station and leave the two larger units in operation. The state also proposed building a natural-gas plant to add generation.


SunZia: Transmission for renewable energy

SunZia

The Sierra Club and the Rio Grande Chapter have identified as an overarching priority the fight against global warming.

To stimulate investments in renewable energy production, renewable-rich areas like central New Mexico need transmission lines to deliver renewable power to customers across the west.

The Rio Grande Chapter believes renewable-energy transmission projects are good for stimulating clean energy in New Mexico. We also believe in making sure these projects are planned and built to strict environmental standards. We want the bar set high.


PNM’s Plan for Plant Does Little To Help Environment

SJGS © WildEarth Guardians

Originally published in the Albuquerque Journal on March 29
By David Van Winkle / Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club

Over the past year, Public Service Company of New Mexico has criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s work in New Mexico, claiming that the EPA’s plan to reduce nitrous-oxide emissions and protect New Mexico’s environment would cost much more than needed, would raise electricity rates the equivalent of one monthly electricity bill each year and would hurt New Mexico’s low-income customers.

The Journal endorsed this view in an editorial on March 8: “State Coal Plant Plan Makes Long-Term Sense.” … There are some facts missing from the storyline.

First is that PNM’s own rate increases in the last few years, on behalf of its shareholders, have increased electric rates the equivalent of five monthly electric bills. No mention by PNM of low-income customers in that regard.


Sierra Club Reaches Legal Settlement Obligating Utility PNM, San Juan Coal Company to Clean Up Water Pollution from Coal Facilities

Coal Waste

Sierra Club Calls on PNM to Move New Mexico Beyond Coal to Clean Energy

Albuquerque, NM -- Today the Sierra Club reached a legal settlement obligating the utility Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) and San Juan Coal Company (a subsidiary of BHP Billiton, Ltd.) to stop ground and surface water contamination that the group alleges comes from toxic coal ash waste and other sources at the San Juan Coal Mine and San Juan Generating Station coal-fired power plant. The settlement obligates the companies to build structures including a “slurry wall” and a recovery trench to prevent contaminants from traveling toward the San Juan River, pumping the pollution instead into a lined storage pond.


While We Pay More, PNM Produces Lame Excuses

Solar PV installation

By Dexter Coolidge and Sanders Moore, Director of Environment New Mexico - Published in the Albuquerque Journal on March 21, 2012

When we switch on a light or turn on the TV at night, most of us aren’t thinking about where the power comes from or why it costs what it does. But a recent report on New Mexico’s largest utility, PNM, was a reminder that it’s worth finding out.

The average New Mexico resident is paying PNM $250 more each year for electricity since 2008. It turns out that the great majority of this (79 percent) has gone toward huge increases in PNM corporate profits. By comparison, PNM directed less than 6 percent of the rate increases toward clean-energy development or energy-efficiency programs that benefit New Mexicans.


EPA releases draft Carbon Pollution Standard

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 27, 2012
CONTACT: Shrayas Jatkar, 505-459-2718, shrayas.jatkar@sierraclub.org

New Mexicans Can “Breathe A Little Easier” Thanks to EPA’s Proposed Carbon Pollution Standard
Local Groups and Citizens Express Support for New Safeguards that Will Hold Industrial Polluters Accountable and Help Protect New Mexico Communities’ Health


Court denies attempt by Gov. Martinez and PNM to stall pollution controls for coal-burning plant

SJGS © WildEarth Guardians

March 1 - DENVER – A federal court ruled today that PNM must comply with a decision last fall requiring the utility to install pollution controls to significantly cut the 16,000 tons a year of harmful haze, ozone, and fine particle-producing nitrogen pollution that pours from the smokestacks each year at the San Juan Generating Station near Farmington, N.M.


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