Press Room

Rio Grande Chapter voted Best Environmental Group by Santa Feans!

The Santa Fe Reporter's Best of Santa Fe issue came out July 15. Thanks Santa Fe; we're working to be even more effective in shaping environmental policy and actions. Click here to see the Reporter issue: http://bit.ly/1qfK9x8


PNM Plans to Waste Tens of Billions of Gallons of Water by Burning Fossil Fuels

For Immediate Release: June 25, 2014
Contact: Jim Mackenzie -350 New Mexico, 505 350-6000
    David Robertson, Sierra Club – Rio Grande Chapter, 505-803-6242

Albuquerque, NM --- The Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) is squandering a chance to save tens of billions of gallons of water through the year 2033 by investing in large-scale, cost-effective renewable energy. PNM is instead planning to use mostly nuclear, coal, and natural gas, all highly water intensive, to replace the power from two soon to be shuttered stacks at the San Juan Generating Stations in northwestern New Mexico. The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club and 350 New Mexico issued its “PNM Water You Thinking Report” today detailing PNM's plan to unnecessarily consume large amounts of water in power production, which the utility described in their December filing to the Public Regulation Commission (PRC).


PRC approves damaging changes to renewables rule

Solar - City of Santa Fe - 1 MW © DVW

For Immediate Release:
April 16, 2014

Rio Grande Chapter statement on PRC decision to make damaging change to cost calculations in renewables rule

SANTA FE, NM - The Public Regulation Commission on Wednesday voted to make a damaging change to the rule that enforces New Mexico’s renewable-energy law.

Counsel Rick Blumenfeld deceptively told the commission that his recommendation addressed concerns of commenters and failed to tell the commission that most commenters had reached a consensus to keep the current rule intact.


RECENT CHAPTER PRESS RELEASES

For immediate release: July 26, 2013 Contact: Mary Katherine Ray, Rio Grande Chapter Wildlife chair, mkrscrim@gmail.com 575-772-5655

New Mexicans ask Gov. Martinez to allow diversionary feeding to keep Sandia bears away from people

More than 1,300 New Mexicans have asked Gov. Susana Martinez to direct New Mexico Game and Fish to consider diversionary feeding of bears in the Sandia Mountains.

The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club and Sandia Mountain Bearwatch asked New Mexicans to speak up to help starving bears, and so far 1,386 people have sent messages to the governor through the Rio Grande Chapter’s action alert.

Diversionary feeding differs from supplemental feeding in that officials place food in bear habitat, away from human dwellings. The purpose is to keep bears away from humans in their own habitat during tough times when natural bear food is unavailable or drastically limited by conditions like the late frost and extreme drought we have had this year.

Bears in the Sandias have very few options to roam to find forage without running into development. About 500,000 people now sit between bears in the mountains and the Rio Grande, where they historically would have gone seeking food and water. When a bear winds up on city streets or in someone’s back yard, New Mexico Game and Fish has to provide the manpower and resources to deal with it.

Where it has been tried, diversionary feeding has reduced this conflict on the bear/human habitat interface. It is not meant to be a permanent solution but a stopgap measure to help bears get through a rough patch.

Bears that have been the beneficiaries of diversionary feeding have not become dependent or dangerous. And it has not increased the local bear population. New Mexico Game and Fish is offering financial incentive to ranchers who provide water for wildlife. Providing food for bears is not such a stretch. Given the response, it is clear that New Mexicans care about our state mammal, the iconic black bear.

More information on diversionary feeding.

January 2013 - The Citizens Coalition (made up of Amigos Bravos, the Rio Grande chapter of the Sierra Club and Caballo Concerned Citizens) statement re. WQCC and NMED - Are they protecting New Mexico Water? READ MORE
February 2013 - Chapter reaction on new state plan on San Juan Generating Station coal burning plant READ MORE
April 2013 - Rio Grande Chapter statement opposing Environment Department’s proposed copper rule READ MORE
June 2013 - Chapter statement on President Obama's Climate speech READ MORE


Sierra Club statement on PRC’s Dec. 18 ruling on renewable energy

For Immediate Release: Dec. 18, 2013

Sierra Club statement on PRC’s Wednesday ruling on renewable energy

Santa Fe, NM - Solar energy and clean air got a reprieve Wednesday when the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission voted to withdraw 2-for-1 credit for solar energy, which had effectively reduced the amount of solar and overall renewable energy New Mexico utilities were required by law to produce. But Wednesday’s vote left some troubling aspects of the previous commission ruling.


Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter statement on President Obama’s Climate Plan and New Mexico

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For immediate release: June 25, 2013 Contact: Camilla Feibelman, Rio Grande Chapter director, camilla.feibelman@sierraclub.org, 505-715-8388

See attachment for printable PDF file


Chapter statement opposing Environment Department’s proposed copper rule

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Susan Martin of the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter executive committee appeared before the Water Quality Control Commission on Wednesday, April 10 to issue the following statement opposing the New Mexico Environment Department’s proposed copper-mining rules under consideration by the commission:


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.


WQCC and NMED - Protecting New Mexico Water?

Albuquerque North Valley acequia

Protecting New Mexico Water
Renee Blake, Public News Service-NM

  • Public News Service-NM
  • (01/28/13) SANTA FE, N.M. - The Citizens Coalition (made up of Amigos Bravos, the Rio Grande chapter of the Sierra Club and Caballo Concerned Citizens) is troubled by the direction being taken by the New Mexico Environment Department and the Water Quality Control Commission (WQCC) in connection with groundwater. Two industries, in particular, are the focus of recent concerns: the dairy industry and the copper industry.


    Wildlife advocates submit letter to FWS re. Mexican Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project Replacement Release Outline

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    At a public meeting regarding the Mexican Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project
    Replacement Release Outline for Arizona 2013 held in Alpine, Arizona, Mr. Chris Bagnoli of the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) announced that public comments on the release proposal would be accepted through October 27, 2012. In response, the White Mountain Conservation League, has submitted a letter signed by 19 organizations, including the Grand Canyon and Rio Grande chapters of the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, Western Wildlife Conservancy and many others.


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