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Are you hot? New Mexico Gas Company wants to turn up the dial... and other BIG news

Are you hot?? July 3rd set a record for the hottest day ever recorded on earth. Then, on July 4th that record was broken. People, wildlife and the plants we all depend on for food and oxygen are suffering and dying. But the fact is that this summer will likely be the coolest you will experience for the rest of your life.

We have had enough! Those who claim to be leaders, whether in business or in government, can no longer make excuses for investing a single penny more into new fossil fuel infrastructure. That is why we have intervened to oppose New Mexico Gas Company (NMGC)'s proposed Liquefied "Natural" Gas (LNG) plant in Rio Rancho. The proposed plant would endanger nearby communities, increase costs for every single NMGC ratepayer, and lock in capital investments in methane gas, slowing the transition to clean energy and risking stranded assets that will eventually be paid for by those least able to afford the upfront costs necessary to get out from under the gas company thumb by electrifying their homes and businesses.

On Tuesday next week at 6:00PM New Energy Economy and NM Climate Justice will host a community forum at the Taylor Ranch Library with intervenors and LNG experts to hear and respond to community concerns. The plant is proposed for a 25 acre site in Bernalillo County on the outskirts of Rio Rancho, but its impacts will be felt by all of us, especially NMGC customers.

While NMGC claims economic benefits for ratepayers, in fact the $180M or more that could be charged to ratepayers to build the plant will not reduce exposure to price volatility because the capacity of the plant - less than half the contracted capacity from the current storage facility in Texas - could mean that even more gas would have to be purchased on the swing market at high prices. The real motivation for building the plant is the ability for NMGC to add the $180M with a guaranteed 9.375% return on equity to rates for the next thirty years. A cost that will add up to at least $3 per month, every month, for every single NMGC ratepayer.

But the communities near the plant should be aware of other risks. LNG storage facilities and tanker trucks that could transport LNG from the plant across NM pose significant risks for explosions, fires and loss of life. What is that record?


NEW ENERGY ECONOMY WINS ON PNM'S APPLICATION TO SELL FOUR CORNERS SHARES TO NTEC! Today the NM Supreme Court denied PNM's appeal of the PRC's decision in 2021 to reject their application to sell their shares in the Four Corners plant to NTEC, which would have prolonged the life of the plant, and their effort to foist $300M of undepreciated investments in the plant onto ratepayers without a hearing on prudence. More details to come tomorrow!

Solstice was the named customer management partner for 100MW of the selected projects out of the total 200MW awarded for Community Solar in New Mexico! That’s the equivalent of approximately 14,000 households that we get to help access clean energy savings. New Energy Economy provided the Letter of Support for their application and will serve as the Community Partner for the company.

And another legal action we hadn't yet communicated - on Friday last week we filed a Motion to Recuse for Patrick O'Connell in the rate case. Read Hannah Grover's report about this issue.

And finally we wanted to share this op-ed from the New York Times detailing how utility companies use ratepayer money to lobby and advocate for the continued use of fossil fuels and the monopoly ownership of energy that they benefit from. We couldn't have written it better ourselves!


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