PNM rate increases fuel soaring profits

SJGS © WildEarth Guardians

New Report Finds New Mexico Utility PNM Used Huge Rate Hikes
on Residents to Fuel Soaring Profits During Recession

Little spent toward clean energy or efficiency for New Mexicans

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - February 28, 2012 - The Sierra Club, New Energy Economy, San Juan Citizens Alliance, Diné CARE, and Southwest Organizing Project released a report today finding that New Mexico’s largest utility, the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), has aggressively pursued major increases in electricity rates, corporate profits, and executive pay during a period of economic hardship for many residents.

Stronger, better-funded energy-efficiency programs needed

Green Building Code in Santa Fe Approved

Published February 19 in Santa Fe New Mexican and on February 25 in the Albuquerque Journal

We have all seen our Public Service Company of New Mexico electricity rates increase over the past few years. From April 2008 to today, PNM rates for the average residential customer has increased by 41 percent or $250 per year.

Where is all of this money going? More of it should be coming right back to you and other customers in the form of PNM information and rebates to lower your costs for energy-efficient light bulbs, appliances, weatherization and insulation. But currently most of it is going to keep PNM's aging coal plants running and hooking up more energy-guzzling housing subdivisions.

Why should you care? Because energy efficiency is the cheapest way to satisfy New Mexico's electricity demand, by a significant margin. PNM's 2010 annual report on energy efficiency states that the average cost to save a kilowatt hour of electrical energy is 1.86 cents. Compare that to the 11 cents per kWh paid by the average residential user.

Jemez fire restoration project

Valles Caldera

The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club is developing plans to assist in the restoration of areas in the Jemez that were severely damaged last year by the Las Conchas fire. And you are invited to participate as volunteers in this important effort. Please contact Mike Weinberg (505) 231-7322

Hard-won victory on dairy discharge

By Dan Lorimier, Conservation coordinator, Southern and El Paso groups

After roughly two and a half years of effort, the Rio Grande Chapter has successfully helped protect New Mexico’s precious but highly threatened groundwater that 9 out of 10 of us rely on for drinking.

Prairie dogs return to Galisteo Basin

Prairie Dog Feeding

The Gunnison Prairie Dog population in Galisteo Basin has increased from 58 in 2009 to 250 in 2011 thanks to a coordinated effort by the Sierra Club, City of Santa Fe, People for Native Ecosystems, and Wild Earth Guardians.

New Mercury rulings effect on N.M.

SJGS © WildEarth Guardians

On Dec. 21, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the first-ever federal protections against toxic mercury from power plants. Mercury is a dangerous brain poison that poses a particular threat to prenatal babies and young children. Exposure in the bloodstreams of pregnant and nursing women can result in birth defects like learning disabilities, lowered IQ, deafness, blindness and cerebral palsy.

New Mexico’s Children Have the Right to be Outdoors, Redux


Last legislative session our leaders almost did the right thing. They very nearly passed a Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights, which would set the stage for connecting every New Mexico child with the outdoors. There was no real reason this bill didn’t pass, other than lack of time.

Why do we even need a Bill of Rights that gets our children moving outside?

Otero Mesa - New hopes, new threats

Otero Mesa Grassland by Stephen Capra

New Mexico’s Otero Mesa is the largest and wildest Chihuahuan Desert grassland left on public lands in America. The area is located southeast of Alamogordo, west of Carlsbad and straddles the Texas border.

Get your non-trapping license today!

Non-trapping license

The Trap Free NM coalition of which we are a part is offering these wonderful, wallet-sized, laminated non-trapping licenses. Your purchase of $20 is all it costs to help us build support for ending brutal and indiscriminate trapping on New Mexico public lands. That is the same price as an actual trapping license issued by NM Game and Fish which allows the unlimited slaughter-for-profit of our wildlife. Purchase of this license supports living wildlife and recreation in wild places unhindered by traps.

Buy your New Mexico Non-Trapping License Now!

An Historic Recognition of Otero Mesa

Otero Mesa Grassland by Stephen Capra

Here in New Mexico we too share in notable landscapes, rich in history and opportunity. Otero Mesa is an irreplaceable natural treasure, our nation’s last intact Chihuahuan Grassland. Unfortunately, today Otero Mesa is under increasing threat from mining operations and the landscape scale molestation they would bring. Better protections are needed before this unique place is lost to us.

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