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.

Projects we’re working on

Climate change news

Sandoval County Oil & Gas Ordinance Talking Points

Sandoval County Oil & Gas Ordinance Talking Points

Sandoval County is amending its comprehensive zoning ordinance to address oil and gas extraction. Here are some things to look for and questions to ask ...
Sandoval County Oil & Gas Ordinance Actions You Can Take

Sandoval County Oil & Gas Ordinance Actions You Can Take

Sandoval County is amending its comprehensive zoning ordinance to address oil and gas extraction. Here are some actions concerned citizens can take ...
Sandoval County Oil & Gas Ordinance

Sandoval County Oil & Gas Ordinance

Sandoval County is amending its comprehensive zoning ordinance to address oil and gas extraction. The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club is following this issue carefully ...
New Mexicans, Four Corners Residents Testify in DC to Protect EPA Methane Rules

New Mexicans, Four Corners Residents Testify in DC to Protect EPA Methane Rules

For immediate release: July 11th, 2017
Contact: Camilla Feibelman, camilla.feibelman@sierraclub. org, 505.715.8388 Washington, DC – Yesterday an array of New Mexicans and Four Corners area residents testified in Washington DC against a delay of the EPA’s methane pollution standards. The ...
Photo of natural gas fire by Tod Baker for an article by the Rio Grande Sierra Club about oil and gas risks in New Mexico

Clean Air Task Force * Earthworks

For Immediate Release CONTACTS: Alan Septoff, Earthworks, 202-271-2355, aseptoff@earthworksaction.org
Stuart Ross, Clean Air Task Force, 914-649-5037, sross@catf.us Hundreds of thousands threatened by Pruitt’s proposal to block EPA oil & gas methane safeguards As impacted citizens testify that ‘stay’ will harm their ...
image of press release

Court defends oil and gas waste rule, a win for New Mexico’s kids and economy

A federal appeals court in Washington D.C. blocked the Trump Administration’s suspension of EPA standards that keep the oil and gas industry’s pollution out of the air our children breathe ...
Hop on board with Global Warming Express

Hop on board with Global Warming Express

You might have heard of Global Warming Express, the award-winning New Mexico program by and for kids that was the driving force behind bag-free Santa Fe and the Acequia Madre solar shade structure; maybe you saw these kids testify at ...

Global Warming Express

A round of applause to our kid-lead climate change activists in Santa Fe, Global Warming Express ...