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.


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.


Syndicate content