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.

EIB approves carbon cap for New Mexico

Solar PV installation

The New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) voted on Dec. 6 to adopt a petition by New Energy Economy that creates a new state program to reduce carbon pollution and create jobs for New Mexicans.

Approved by a 4-1 vote, the plan will require the state’s largest polluters to reduce their carbon-dioxide emissions by 3 percent per year from 2010 levels starting in 2013. The approval culminates a two-year process for the NEE petition, signed onto by the Rio Grande Chapter.

Lance Christie, environmental visionary

My friend Lance passed away this November from pancreatic cancer. Although not many of us here in the Rio Grande Chapter knew Lance, he has left behind a legacy that may help us in our pursuit of a sustainable-energy future.

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.

City of Santa Fe Nears Completion of 1 MW Solar Facility

Solar - City of Santa Fe - Sierra Club tour © Teresa Seamster

The City of Santa Fe will start up its new 1 MW solar electricity facility on January 1, 2011.

The City of Santa Fe will realize immediate cost savings with no upfront investment.

The Sierra Club's Cool Cities program worked closely with Nick Schiavo and city leaders in 2008 to initiate this project.

Nick Schiavo, the City's project leader and energy czar, led a tour of the facility for the Sierra Club on Friday, November 19.

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.

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