Climate Change

Climate Change and Global Warming

Deal would reduce millions of tons of carbon dioxide, but where’s the renewable energy?

Coal - San Juan

By Shrayas Jatkar
Beyond Coal organizing representative

The state of New Mexico and PNM announced that they had struck a major deal with the Environmental Protection Agency on Feb. 15 regarding the future of the San Juan Generating Station, a 40-year-old coal-burning power plant near Farmington. Key elements of the deal are to close two of the four coal-burning units by the end of 2017 while putting pollution controls on the remaining two units to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide and other toxic pollutants.


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.


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.


some recently published letters about San Juan Generating Station/PNM

SJGS © WildEarth Guardians

Dirty Coal Is Just So Last Century

A FEW YEARS ago I toured the massive coal-burning power plant that has generated much of New Mexico’s electricity for the last 40 years. It’s a huge, impressive behemoth of a plant. And, like the behemoths of the age of the dinosaurs, its time has come. San Juan Generating Station should be retired, not retooled.


Member Story: House Savings

Norma Reyes

Member Story: House Savings

Four years ago, I started greening my house as I made needed repairs. First I replaced the main windows with double-pane, energy-saving windows (which also reduced outside noise considerably). I have followed up with Energy Star toilets (rebate water credit paid for them entirely), showerheads, refrigerator, dishwasher and entry door. I’ve also installed an energy efficient garage door and put a thermal blanket on the water heater.


State water plan being updated

NM basins BW.jpg

By Sig Silber, Northern New Mexico Group Water Chair

In 2003 the first New Mexico State Water Plan was adopted. It is the intent of the Legislature that the Interstate Stream Commission, in collaboration with the Office of the State Engineer and the water trust board, prepare and implement a comprehensive state water plan. The state water plan shall be a strategic management tool.

The details of the water-planning statute can be viewed at

  • click here

  • 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.


    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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