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The PRC chose PNM’s profits over people – hold them accountable

By December 17, 2015September 29th, 2022Democracy, Campaigns & Elections, Climate & Energy

The Public Regulation Commission (PRC) approved PNM’s replacement power plan for San Juan Generating Station (SJGS) on Dec. 16. That means that the PRC allowed PNM to balance their profits on the backs of New Mexico’s Latino, Native and low-income communities that suffer the impacts of climate change, carbon pollution and legacy mining pollution.
Half of PNM’s aging coal-fired SJGS will close down in 2017 to comply with air quality laws. This presents a golden opportunity to position New Mexico as a national leader in clean energy development, but the PRC just gave PNM permission to squander this opportunity and take us backwards instead. The plan that the PRC just approved will replace that power generation with more dirty coal and toxic nuclear energy, rather than taking the opportunity to proactively plan for the necessary transition to a clean energy economy – a transition that New Mexicans like you and I want.
Tell your PRC commissioner what you think about their vote and urge them to push for clean, renewable energy in New Mexico.>>
Here’s a link to send a message to each commissioner:
Commissioner Karen Montoya – District 1
Commissioner Pat Lyons – District 2
Commissioner Valerie Espinoza – District 3
Commissioner Lynda Lovejoy – District 4
Commissioner Sandy Jones – District 5
Not sure who your commissioner is? Check out this map to find out.
Thanks to the hard work of the renewable energy advocates involved in the negotiation process, the PRC also approved an opportunity to scrutinize PNM’s risky stake in the SJGS coal plant in 2018. New Mexicans pay up to double for dirty San Juan coal energy compared to clean renewables. Combine this with the public health benefits of solar and wind and, in 2018, the PRC could be forced to push PNM to replace all of their dirty coal holdings with renewables. But that’s not all. We need to make it clear that even though the majority of the PRC approved PNM’s replacement power plan, we expect more. We need to push the PRC to have vital conversations about the future of New Mexico’s energy portfolio and economy: Here are three important issues that the PRC failed to address in the replacement power plan:

  1. The people who depend on San Juan Generating Station for their employment deserve to know when it will shut down. Coal plants are shutting down all across the country. SJGS is old and crumbling. Everyone knows SJGS is closing, but nobody knows when. The PRC needs to step up and demand a firm retirement date for the plant, so the people who depend on it aren’t left in the lurch when PNM decides the plant isn’t profitable any more.
  2. The 2018 process presents a great opportunity to take advantage of New Mexico’s great renewable energy potential, something that the replacement power plan doesn’t do. The plan you approved calls for a paltry amount of renewables and does little to plan for a long-term transition away from polluting energy sources like coal and nuclear. In addition to helping us tackle climate change and air quality, renewables have been proven to have a stabilizing effect on electricity rates.
  3. It’s time to make a real, honest commitment to ensuring the economic health of San Juan County in a post-SJGS world. Currently, PNM has spent $1 million on economic development and worker re-training in San Juan County. That’s embarrassing. PNM has made millions from SJGS. They owe the community a serious investment in workforce development and re-training so that the people who rely on the station have options when they need them.

In order to make a huge leap into our clean energy future, we need to hit the ground running now. Together, we can push for a better, healthier future without San Juan coal in the 2018 process. Send your commissioner a message now.>>
Despite the fact that thousands of New Mexicans have spoken up against PNM’s dirty energy plans – including CVNM members and supporters like you who have signed 7,400 petitions, and sent 2,327 messages directly to our PRC commissioners to date – a majority of the PRC voted against your best interests. Now is the time to send them a message loud and clear: our elected officials are responsible to us — their constituents — not polluting interests. Join us in holding the PRC accountable for choosing profits over people. Send your PRC commissioner a message now.>>