Energy

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.


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.


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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