How We're Tackling the Challenge

We focus on four key areas in our climate efforts:

Coal

New Mexico is home to two of the dirtiest and most polluting coal plants in the country. Thanks in part to intervention by the Sierra Club, both Four Corners Power Plant and San Juan Generating Station have retired or plan to retire several units. The Rio Grande Chapter and Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign work for the total transition from dangerous and dirty coal to renewable energy to make a better future for our children.

Laws and rules our members helped enact have increased renewable energy in New Mexico, but we have a long way to go.

Energy Policy

Our chapter works to transition from oil, gas, uranium and coal to clean, renewable energy. In the Legislature, chapter staff and volunteers successfully lobbied for the law that requires utilities to reach 20 percent renewable energy by 2020. In 2015, hundreds of Rio Grande Chapter supporters contacted their state representatives and senators in a successful campaign to stop an attempt to gut the law.

The Rio Grande Chapter also advocates at the Public Regulation Commission, which holds incredible power over our state's energy policy. We’ve helped enact strong net­-metering rules (which guide how utilities pay customers with solar at their business or residence), successfully lobbied for rules to increase the amount of solar energy that utilities are required to provide under the Renewable Energy Act, and protected those rules from being undermined by hostile forces.

Sierra Club's Dirty Fuels campaign in New Mexico is led by Robert Tohe, who works to protect tribal communities in Northwest and western New Mexico from the hazards of uranium mining and fracking.

Renewable Energy

The Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter and our supporters successfully worked for a New Mexico law requiring our largest utilities to provide 20% of their electricity from renewable energy by 2020. We monitor and advocate at the Legislature and the Public Regulation Commission to keep our Renewable Energy Act and the rules that enforce intact and strong. Thanks to thousands of supporters contacting their elected representatives, we’ve fended off several attacks that would have severely curtailed renewable energy in New Mexico. We also advocate and work with local governments to develop pro-­renewables policy like community solar. It’s time to strengthen our renewable-­energy laws, policy and infrastructure to the levels needed to provide a safe climate for future generations.

Sierra Club's NM Northern Group Executive Committee member Sandrine Gaillard has developed a website to help homeowners decide if going solar makes sense for them, learn about the process and what's involved with going solar. Visit GoSolarNowNM.info to read the details, and feel free to contact her at sandrine.sierraclub@gmail.com with your comments and questions.

Zero Waste

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle ­­ --  we pay too little attention to the first two when reducing our use and waste, both of which are key to addressing pollution and the energy ­burning that is driving climate disruption. Please visit eldorado285recycles.org to learn about how Eldorado at Santa Fe recycles, and contact Co-­chairs Joe Eigner at joseigner@gmail.com or Karen Sweeney at ksweeney99@comcast.net with questions or for more information, or to join our Zero Waste team.

How You Can Take Action on Climate Change

Join our Climate Action Team

The team meets monthly and comes up with great ideas and actions to increase renewable energy at the local and state level. Contact Camilla Feibelman for more information and to join the team at camilla.feibelman@sierraclub.org


Visit our Act on the Issues Page here to find out about how you can act on urgent and other environmental issues.

Climate change news

Fracking Threats to the Albuquerque Basin Aquifer

Fracking Threats to the Albuquerque Basin Aquifer
Geologist Donald Phillips helped turn the tide on the outcome of the Sandoval County Commission vote to approve the Stoddard/Heil oil and gas ordinance. Donald Phillips’ presentation summarizes the general geology of Sandoval County and the risks of contaminating drinking-water ... Read More

Trump and Zinke propose gutting pollution safeguard

photo of chaco canyon national park entrance for sierra club article on oil drilling in nearby communities
On February 12, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a proposal to gut a key safeguard that would limit methane pollution from oil and gas drilling operations. The proposal effectively eliminates a standard put forth by the Obama administration requiring oil ... Read More

Health Impact Reports from Oil & Gas Well Exposure

Health Impact Reports from Oil & Gas Well Exposure
The Navajo Nation Health Impact Report Summary on Oil & Gas Well Exposure is an environmental epidemiological report of how oil and gas development impacts the health of those living in the neighborhood.   ... Read More

PNM’s San Juan bonding bill needs improvement

PNM's San Juan bonding bill needs improvement
The Sierra Club will oppose SB47, PNM's "securitization" bill for retiring San Juan Generating Station, tomorrow in the Senate Conservation Committee. Read our analysis ... Read More
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