It's been awhile, but not because nothing is happening. To the contrary, New Energy Economy continues fighting the pop-up monsters that keep rearing their ugly heads - a grey hydrogen proposal by the New Mexico Gas Company, PNM's continued efforts to extract every last dollar from ratepayers, and the administration's continued failure to prioritize life over profits. But today we are writing to ask you to engage in a national call to action.
The UN Secretary General warned that Paris climate goals are "on life support," and the fossil fuel war in Ukraine has underscored so clearly the link between our dependence on these fossil fuels and the proliferation of corruption and threats to security all over the world, leading to an unprecedented push for renewable energy development in Europe. Knowing the obstacles faced in our evenly divided Senate, an increasing number of legislators, activists and administration officials are calling on President Biden to declare a climate emergency and unlock executive powers already granted by Congress to pivot towards renewable energy.
There are five key climate actions the president can take using three emergency and defense framework statutes: the National Emergencies Act, the Defense Production Act, and the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
It is not only environmental activists calling for executive action. A handful of Democratic senators are offering up solutions to wean the west off of Russian energy. In a letter to Biden Wednesday, Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Cory Booker (N.J.) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.) urged the administration to use the Defense Production Act and military sales to boost manufacturing of electric heat pumps, efficient electric appliances and renewable energy technology. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm also pitched an energy overhaul on Tuesday to transition to cleaner energy, but said that it doesn’t have to come at odds with her calls to produce more oil and gas to offset market disruptions over the war in Ukraine.
While new data from the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas shows oil and gas producers are ramping up drilling activity, data also indicates that they are not optimistic about the long-term future of the industry, with a survey noting that the outlook uncertainty index also jumped from -1.5 to 31.9, suggesting uncertainty has become much more pronounced. Industry calls for increased oil and gas production have been exposed for their naked immorality and short-sightedness, and today's announcement that the Biden administration will support Europe by providing more LNG would in fact necessitate building additional LNG infrastructure that would lock in such climate destroying emissions for decades. The administration must instead make good on its word to treat the climate crisis as a crisis!
Now is the time for the people to take action - to take advantage of the clarity and urgency of the threats facing us to demand that President Biden declare a climate emergency. New Energy Economy joined more than 1100 organizations calling on the President to ACT - now we are calling on you to get involved using this toolkit with sample tweets, posts and letters. Let's send out Letters to the Editor, write op-eds, write to our New Mexico legislators and federal agency officials to amplify this call. Learn more about the President's specific powers to address climate change through executive action in this report from the Center for Biological Diversity.
AND ON THE LOCAL FRONT...
OPPOSING FOSSIL FUELED HYDROGEN
Despite a clear and unequivocal NO from the public and the legislature, the Governor and private industry in New Mexico are forging ahead with their plan to extend the life of the fracking industry through the development of so called "clean" hydrogen fuel, an oxy-moron that fails to account for the fossil fuels used in its production. Following the legislative session the Governor promptly signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with regional states to compete jointly for federal funds to create a "Hydrogen Hub", signed MOU's with Los Alamos and Sandia National Labs to develop the hydrogen industry and provided state funds for a private company, Universal Hydrogen, to develop hydrogen fueled air travel.
And at the PRC the New Mexico Gas Company has applied to charge ratepayers $2.9M for its investment in the development of a hydrogen plant for the purpose of blending hydrogen with natural gas to heat New Mexico homes. New Energy Economy has intervened to oppose ratepayer subsidization of this dangerous false solution and joined 24 organizations in New Mexico to respond to the "Request for Information" from the DOE decrying the lack of engagement with impacted communities in the hydrogen hub development process.
The science is clear - hydrogen produced with fossil fuels produces MORE emissions than simply burning those fossil fuels directly for heat or energy. Proponents of market-based climate solutions pretend that we can rely on corporations and industries to change the very systems that they profit from. Only courageous action that values life above all else will be effective.
PNM SEEKS TO DEFY THE TERMS OF THE FINANCING ORDER IT AGREED TO UNDER THE ETA
PNM's newest scam: continue to charge ratepayers for an inoperable plant. Yes, after San Juan Generating Station abandonment PNM is planning to allow ALL charges to accrue, other than the cost of coal, as if the plant were providing a service to ratepayers. NEE is asking the Commission to require PNM to either 1) issue an immediate customer rate credit reflecting the removal of SJGS from PNM’s cost of service or 2) establish a regulatory liability deferral account that would continue to track costs accruing after the end of the San Juan Generating Station’s scheduled usage, respectively on July 1, 2022 for SJGS Unit 1 and October 1, 2022 for SJGS Unit 4, so that these amounts can be returned to ratepayers when costs are adjusted in PNM’s next rate case.
PNM made the following representations to the public, the PRC and the New Mexico Supreme Court: That passage of the Energy Transition Act (“ETA”) would save ratepayers money through low-interest bonds, and that the bonds would issue on or shortly after 7/2/22, after the scheduled closing of SJGS. That is precisely what PNM wrote in their Application, testimony, and in their Financing Order, which was approved by the PRC. But now PNM has indicated that it declines to abide by the terms and conditions authorized by the Commission.
CALL OR EMAIL YOUR PRC COMMISSIONER AND TELL THEM THAT THEY NEED TO PROTECT RATEPAYERS FROM PNM'S LATEST GREEDY MANEUVERS TO FLEECE RATEPAYERS.
Comm. Cynthia Hall - District 1 - Albuquerque - email@example.com, (505) 235-8013
Comm. Jeff Byrd - District 2 - Las Vegas, Roswell, Carlsbad - firstname.lastname@example.org, (505) 795-1037
Comm. Joseph Maestas - District 3 - Santa Fe, Espanola and Taos - email@example.com, (505) 469-3537
Comm. Theresa Becenti Aguilar - District 4 - Farmington, Gallup, Grants - firstname.lastname@example.org, (505) 795-0713
Comm. Stephen Fischmann - District 5 - Las Cruces, Silver City, Belen - email@example.com, (505) 216-8569