Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact
Kyle Tisdel, Western Environmental Law Center, tisdel@westernlaw.org
Thomas Singer, Western Environmental Law Center, singer@westernlaw.org
Robyn Jackson, Diné C.A.R.E., robyn.jackson@dine-care.org
Mike Eisenfeld, San Juan Citizens Alliance, mike@sanjuancitizens.org

Press Release

New Mexico PRC Embraces 100% Renewable Future for Four Corners

WASHINGTON -

Today, New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) voted unanimously to replace San Juan Generating Station power with 100% renewable energy when the coal-fired power plant is retired in 2022. This decision will modernize power generation, improve public health, and stabilize the local economy.

The decision will save ratepayers more than $6 per month, support 1,000 construction jobs, and invest $1 billion in Four Corners communities — $447 million in the Consolidated School District and $430 million in McKinley and Rio Arriba counties. This decision puts the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) in line to achieve the 40% renewable generation goal required by the state’s Energy Transition Act a full two years ahead of the 2025 deadline.

"This historic decision will benefit communities and generations in the Four Corners region for years to come," said Robyn Jackson of Diné C.A.R.E. "By unanimously agreeing to an all-renewables replacement of coal power with solar and battery storage within affected communities and the Central Consolidated School District, economic relief and renewal is possible. This decision is a solid investment in community health and future economic sustainability."

Experts testified at the PRC hearing on replacement power that a 100% renewable portfolio provides more economic stability and opportunities for job creation by serving as a commercial-scale energy storage hub for Southwestern utilities, based on existing transmission capacity.

"This is an historic decision for the Four Corners community to transition from reliance on fossil fuels," said Mike Eisenfeld of San Juan Citizens Alliance. "This decision also triggers much-needed Energy Transition Act funds to support the local community."

Today's PRC decision will also stimulate the economy by hiring people for coal mine reclamation, improving property values with the decommissioning of the coal plant, and enhancing business opportunities in the recreation, agritourism, and other sectors.

"With the retirement of San Juan Generating Station and the approval of 100% renewable replacement power, a new door is opening in San Juan County and in New Mexico," said Kyle Tisdel of the Western Environmental Law Center. "This is about our future, and the opportunities that exist if we can end the addiction to fossil fuels that have been undermining the health of our communities and the livability of our planet. This decision will diversify our economy and end the cycle of boom and bust for these coal-dependent communities. Outdoor recreation, mine reclamation, and solar are the future, and San Juan County can have it all."

A report with technical details is available here.

###

Western Environmental Law Center

The Western Environmental Law Center uses the power of the law to safeguard the public lands, wildlife, and communities of the American West in the face of a changing climate. We envision a thriving, resilient West, abundant with protected public lands and wildlife, powered by clean energy, and defended by communities rooted in an ethic of conservation.

As Progressives Call for End to Blockade, Biden Announces More Sanctions Against Cuba

The move comes after Democratic leadership in the House blocked an amendment to roll back limits on how much money people in the United States can send to family on the island nation.

Jessica Corbett ·


Progressives Issue Dire Warning as House Bill to Extend Eviction Moratorium Dies

"If Congress does not act now, the fallout of the eviction crisis will undoubtedly set us backwards as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravish our communities, needlessly contributing to more death and destruction."

Brett Wilkins ·


Citing Donziger Case, Dems Raise Alarm About Use of Private Prosecutors in Federal Court

Private prosecutions of criminal contempt charges, said a pair of senators, "are highly unusual and can raise concerning questions of fundamental fairness in our criminal justice system."

Jessica Corbett ·


'About Damn Time': DOJ Says Treasury Department Must Give Trump's Tax Returns to Congress

"This case is now bigger even than Donald Trump's crimes. Neither the courts, nor the machinery of our government, exist to bodyguard a corrupt private citizen from transparency."

Jake Johnson ·


'Just Say That the Election Was Corrupt,' Trump Told DOJ in December

"It was a failed coup. Call it what it was. It didn't work! But they sure as hell tried."

Kenny Stancil ·