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How We're Tackling the Challenge

We focus on four key areas in our climate efforts:

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.

Oil & Gas

The Rio Grande Chapter is working to reduce the environmental and community impacts of oil and gas extraction.  We are working to stop Trump rollbacks of Federal Methane Waste and Pollution Rules.  We are working to protect the Greater Chaco landscape from fracking.  And we are working to see oil and gas legislation, rules and regulations pass that protect our air, water and communities.

See our separate pages on our methane pollution problem, fracking near Chaco Canyon, and the Sandoval County Oil & Gas Ordinance.

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.

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.

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

NM Environment Department proposes improved methane safeguards

NM Environment Department proposes improved methane safeguards
May 6, 2021 | News Release Today, the New Mexico Environment Department proposed new rules to limit emissions from oil and gas operations in the state by requiring companies to detect and repair leaks as well as control other pollution sources. The new rules ... Read More

President Biden Boosts New Mexico’s Clean Car Efforts

President Biden Boosts New Mexico’s Clean Car Efforts
For Immediate Release: Monday, April 26, 2021 President Biden Boosts New Mexico’s Clean Car Efforts New Rule Would Reaffirm New Mexico’s Authority to Set Stronger Vehicle Emission Standards, Helping to Protect the Climate, Improve Public Health, and Save Drivers ... Read More

130+ Groups Urge Biden to Act on Methane

130+ Groups Urge Biden to Act on Methane
In a letter to the Biden administration, 134 environmental, public health, and advocacy organizations are urging President Biden to direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use the full power of sections 111(b) and 111(d) of the Clean Air Act ... Read More

PNM cites ETA in proposing 100% solar and storage to replace nuclear

PNM cites ETA in proposing 100% solar and storage to replace nuclear
After announcing it would drop one of its leases in the Palo Verde Nuclear plant last year, this month PNM proposed replacing the energy with 100% solar and battery. In support of its proposal, PNM cited the Energy Transition Act’s ... Read More