For immediate release: April 21, 2017
In response to PNM’s proposal to eliminate coal from its energy portfolio by 2031, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Director Camilla Feibelman released the following statement:
“PNM’s announcement that early retirement of San Juan and Four Corners coal plants will save customers money is a clear demonstration that coal is no longer economically sustainable.
Across the nation, utilities are planning early retirements for coal plants, including San Juan, Four Corners and Navajo Generating Station, because coal is simply being outcompeted by less-expensive sources, including wind, solar and energy efficiency.
We must take this economic shift seriously and examine how we can support workers and the communities that have lived in the shadow of pollution. The Four Corners’ vast solar potential and massive transmission network can create clean-energy jobs and provide affordable, reliable energy to the region. This will require immediate and thoughtful action from PNM, the state, local government, and other local stakeholders.
It is time to stop investing in technologies of the past — PNM’s 2014 purchase of shares in Arizona’s Palo Verde nuclear plant forced a large rate increase onto consumers last year. PNM should avoid purchasing another large share of an aging nuclear plant and all the liability that comes with it.
Renewable energy, storage and energy efficiency are increasingly cheaper, safer, cleaner investments, and they protect our families in the bargain.
Closure of San Juan and Four Corners will mean cleaner air to breathe and hope for the world our children will live in. PNM and the state of New Mexico must give back to the region they’ve taken from for so long by providing job training, proper cleanup and remediation and new economic opportunities, including investment in renewable energy, in the Four Corners.”
The Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter has more than 9,000 members in New Mexico and West Texas whose mission is to explore, enjoy and protect the planet.