This weekend the Diné community and allies will gather to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Church rock uranium mine spill. To remember and honor loved ones lost. To pray, walk, learn, and to continue the struggle for healing and justice. The Church Rock uranium mill spill occurred on July 16, 1979, when United Nuclear
Corporation's Church Rock uranium mill tailings disposal pond breached its dam. 1,100 tons of solid radioactive mill waste and approximately 93 million gallons of acidic, radioactive tailings solution flowed into Pipeline Arroyo, a tributary of the Puerco River.
We will be there. We encourage all who can attend to join in solidarity and support. We must sustain the gaze and honestly face the legacy of environmental racism and devastation tied to our nuclear dependence. In New Mexico 30% of our electricity is still generated from nuclear - a number we must work together to reduce.
To that end, we are preparing for our oral arguments before the PRC next week to hold PNM accountable for their irresponsible investments in Palo Verde nuclear on behalf of New Mexican ratepayers. As you know, the Supreme Court recently ruled in our favor - upholding the finding that PNM's failure to perform any economic analysis and compare their nuclear purchase against the alternatives in 2015, was imprudent.
Given the toxic legacy of nuclear extraction, the high price of nuclear electricity relative to other energy sources, and the costs and risks of nuclear decommissioning and waste, no further investments in nuclear should be made. If you'd like more information on the costs and risks of nuclear read our Joint Petition [pdf] filed with more than two dozen indigenous, grassroots, and social justice organizations and the Expert Testimony we submitted to the PRC from Diné leader Larry King, documenting the history of environmental racism and devastation associated with nuclear extraction in New Mexico. As a result, Navajo Nation resolved to ban uranium mining and milling.
Next Wednesday, on July 17th at 1:00PM, we'll argue that given PNM's decision to invest without first conducting a sound evaluation and comparative analysis, the company, NOT New Mexican ratepayers, should bear the associated costs. When we start holding corporations accountable for their poor decision-making and shareholders start feeling the heat and burden of costly and risky investments like PNM's ongoing investments in Palo Verde, we will see shifts in corporate behavior and divestment from dirty energy. In preparation for our arguments, the PRC Ordered us to file our recommended Remedy. What we said is that unless PNM can prove that nuclear is the most cost effective among feasible alternatives (an impossible proposition given the low cost of wind and solar), Palo Verde nuclear should be kept OUT of New Mexico's electricity portfolio and New Mexican ratepayers should be held harmless. Though PNM and Friends oppose our Motion, PRC staff filed this statement in support of our position.
Join Us Wednesday, July 17 Where: 1120 Paseo De Peralta, Santa Fe, 87501 When: July 17, 2019 at 1:00PM
PRC Commissioners need to hear from you, their constituents, in advance of the 7/17 hearing.
Please contact your District PRC commissioner by phone, make an appointment to see them in person, or send them an email and:
Thank them for protecting New Mexico consumers;
Share your concerns about PNM's continued investment in expensive, toxic nuclear energy.
Share your support of the position that given PNM's imprudence, Palo Verde nuclear should be excluded from rates unless the company can prove, through an evidentiary hearing, that it's the most cost effective energy source among all feasible alternatives;