How We're Tackling the Challenge
We focus on four key areas in our climate efforts:
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.
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.
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.
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. The chapter's Zero Waste team engages and educates communities on reducing our waste.
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
Visit our Act on the Issues Page here to find out about how you can act on urgent and other environmental issues.
Latest Climate Change News
By Alex Renirie, Beyond Dirty Fuels organizer On May 12, the EPA finalized the first-ever national safeguards on methane pollution from the oil and gas industry. And communities across the country, particularly those living in heavily drilled areas, are celebrating this… Read more >