Beyond Coal

Beyond Coal

EPA, Sierra Club Spar with PNM Over Pollution Control Costs

Public News Service Press Release

December 30, 2010 - FARMINGTON, N.M. - It's a debate over numbers when it comes to cleaning up the emissions from New Mexico's biggest power plant, and both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club say figures put out by power utility PNM are way off. The utility says it could cost a billion dollars to install the pollution controls proposed by the EPA for the San Juan Generating Station, New Mexico's biggest power plant.

That could mean an increase in electric bills of about $90 per year for each household, but David Van Winkle, energy chairman of the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter, says that, using EPA estimates and some simple math, the figure is closer to $10 a year.

Support Clean Air in New Mexico

You can influence the future of the two large coal-fired power plants in New Mexico. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued proposed rulings that would require the Four Corners Power Plant and the San Juan Generating Station, both located in northwestern New Mexico, to implement pollution controls that would provide clean air, reducing haze in the region and air pollution caused health problems, like asthma. We will be providing opportunities for you to personally communicate to the EPA via e-mail or in person.

Sign up now to join our clean energy team.

EPA Proposal Would Protect Air Quality in New Mexico and Neighbor States

Coal - San Juan

Tribal and Conservation Organizations Applaud Limits on Dangerous Pollution from San Juan Generating Station

(NEW MEXICO)— The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a proposed rule to control dangerous air pollution from the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station in New Mexico. The rule specifically addresses pollutants that form ozone and small particles, both of which are very harmful to the public’s health as well as visibility throughout the region. Children, the elderly, people with lung diseases such as asthma, and people who work or exercise outside are at risk for adverse effects from ozone and particulate matter. Tribal and conservation organizations, including Dooda (No) Desert Rock and the Sierra Club applauded the EPA effort to protect people from the pollution created by the San Juan Generating Station.

The Transition from Dirty Coal to Clean Energy is Happening!

Solar PV - by DVW

Even with setbacks nationally, the transition from dirty-coal to clean energy made strong progress in 2010.

In November 2010, it was announced that the Four Corners coal-fired Power Plant, located in northwestern New Mexico, would close three of its five units by 2013, reducing its power output by 560 Mega-Watts.

The number of solar roof-top systems in PNM's territory has grown from 400 on January 26, 2009 (my system shown in the photo was the 400th solar system in PNM's territory) to 1200 systems at the end of 2010.

Sorry, PNM: Customer cost for clean air likely to be $10 per year, not $90

Coal - San Juan

12/24/10 - PNM claims that it would cost PNM residential customers $90/year for 20 years to implement the recently announced EPA proposed pollution controls for the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station (SJGS), located in Farmington New Mexico. PNM also claims that these pollution controls capital cost would exceed $1 Billion.

Both claims are significantly overstated.

Club Leads Effort to Regulate Coal Combustion Waste in NM

Coal Waste

Update 12/2- Members from 15 nation-wide organizations, including the Sierra Club, have sent more than 250,000 letters to the EPA in support of strong controls on Coal Combustion Waste.

Santa Fe – August 6 - Speaking through 13 of New Mexico’s most representative advocacy groups, New Mexicans are asking Governor Richardson to support strong, Federal regulation of Coal Combustion Waste (CCW). New Mexico ranks 10th in the nation for CCW production with an amazing 6.8 million tons dumped from coal fired electric power generation in San Juan and McKinley Counties annually.

California Utility Abandons Coal Power at Four Corners Plant

While Southern California Edison Moves Forward, Arizona Public Service Company Moves Backward by Seeking to Increase Use of Dirty Coal Power

(PHOENIX, AZ)— While a California utility plans to abandon its coal-based power in favor of cleaner sources, Arizona Public Service Company (APS) is expanding its coal power by 32% at its Four Corners power plant.

Proposed EPA Rule Will Protect People from Dangerous Air Pollution at Dirty Four Corners Plant

Coal - San Juan

(NEW MEXICO)— The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a proposed rule on how to control dangerous air pollution from the coal-fired Four Corners Power Plant, which is located on Navajo Nation land near Farmington, New Mexico. The rule specifically addresses nitrogen oxide (NOx) pollution, which reacts with other chemicals to form ozone and small particles, both of which are very harmful to the public’s health.

Chapter Presses for Pollution Controls at San Juan Coal Plant

Coal - San Juan

August 4 - The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club and 7 other advocacy groups have sent a letter to Governor Richardson and Secretary of NM Environmental Department (NMED) Ron Curry supporting NMED's Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) for the San Juan Generating Station. This proposed plan would upgrade PNM's San Juan Generating Station with cost-effective controls for nitrogen oxide emissions and other pollutants and also lead to greater sulfur dioxide reductions, presents a tremendous opportunity to protect New Mexico’s enchanted landscapes, safeguard public health and welfare, promote economic prosperity, and keep New Mexico in control of its clean air legacy.

Conservation Groups Ask Federal Agencies to Require Nation's Biggest National Park Polluter to Clean Up

Coal - San Juan

Four Corners Coal Plant Causes Haze in Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde and Other National Parks

Washington, D.C. — Conservation groups have asked federal agencies to require New Mexico's dirtiest coal-fired power plant to take measures to reduce its air pollution, and thereby lessen the amount of haze it causes in national parks and wilderness areas.

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