May 22 KSFR First News: N.M. Business, Environmental Groups Express Differing Views On PNM Plan

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Several New Mexico business groups gathered Thursday in Albuquerque to support the state’s largest utility’s plans for dealing with an aging coal-fired power plant. They’re warning of economic turmoil if a settlement regarding the plant's future falls through. This, as the state Public Regulation Commission is close to deciding whether to approve PNM’s plan to close part of the San Juan Generating Plant and replace it with a mix of more coal along with nuclear, natural gas and solar power. The partial closure will address the federal government's call to reduce haze-causing pollution in the Four Corners region. However, protesters with New Mexico, and groups, including New Energy Economy, Sierra Club, Southwest Organizing Project and others stress that further investment in coal is adverse to a vibrant economy. Tom Solomon, co-coordinator of New Mexico., said, quote: “We are sympathetic to the coal workers and miners. But let's be clear, it is PNM's own plan to close the San Juan coal mine in 2019, laying off 400 miners. Let’s get them re-trained in a growing new energy economy.”

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