Energy

Will Chaco fall victim to Mancos play?

By Norma McCallan, Northern New Mexico co-chair

In a remote area of the southeastern San Juan Basin, down a long, washboard dirt road, lies Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Designated as a World Heritage Site in 1987, its magnificent ancient ruins face a new threat from proposed federal gas and oil leases north and east of the park, totaling 18,500 acres.


San Juan County is energy, pollution epicenter

Coal Waste

By Mona Blaber and Norma McCallan

On June 7 and 8, San Juan County members of the Rio Grande Chapter and chapter leaders joined for events focusing on the area’s oil-, gas- and coal-driven economy and how to transition to a healthier and economically vibrant community.

Chapter leaders and allies met with Bureau of Land Management Farmington District administrators about proposed oil and gas leases near Chaco Canyon (see accompanying article), impacts from drilling on public lands and protection of the district’s Badlands.


PRC keeps renewables rule — sort of

Solar Home

By Mona Blaber

We asked you to help protect renewable energy in New Mexico, and you responded — in force.

In April, after the Public Regulation Commission agreed to rehear the Reasonable Cost Threshold rule that enforces New Mexico’s Renewable Energy Act, the Rio Grande Chapter asked supporters to submit comments urging the commission not to weaken the rule.


Community solar for Santa Fe?

Community Supported Solar Project, Taos - Teresa Seamster

By Teresa Seamster, Northern New Mexico Group and Esha Chiocchio, Santa Fe Watershed Association

Santa Fe Community Solar Garden – the name conjures up a sunny field with upturned solar panels collecting the daily requirement of energy for the people who live here. A few acres planted in panels and clean fixed-cost energy for the next 50 years. The image is not far-fetched.


Sierra Club activists put heat on Martinez, PRC

GotSolNotCoalProtest.jpg

By Shrayas Jatkar
Beyond Coal organizing representative

Many things led to the acknowledgement by PNM and the Martinez administration that coal is the fuel of the past.

Without the constant public pressure exerted by Rio Grande Chapter members and friends, the decision to reduce the deadly coal pollution at San Juan Generating Station simply would not have happened.

New Mexico’s Beyond Coal to Clean Energy campaign included national program staff, local volunteers, and diverse partner groups.


PNM targets renewables rule

By John Buchser
Chapter chair

Most of us would be happy to learn that the mix of fuels powering our TVs and refrigerators is moving toward sun and wind and away from water-guzzling coal and nuclear plants.

New Mexico has a law requiring that gradual transition to renewable energy, because as we all know, the health and safety of our kids and New Mexico’s drought-prone climate depend on it.

Which is why the Rio Grande Chapter is working to stop PNM and other industry forces from rewriting the rule that enforces that law.


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.


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.


Letter: Better way to address fracking

Dear Sierran Editor:

By all accounts that I’ve read, hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) deserves
its destructive reputation and community outrage. Local elected officials must have the land-use regulatory tools and the political willpower to protect their communities. But these Community Rights Ordinances are not the solution, and so I must disagree with the piece about community rights and fracking in the July/August/September issue.


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