We are thrilled! Together we took a stand -- our position was unequivocal - NO NEW GAS!
And we won!!!
The Hearing Examiners issued their recommended decision today in the San Juan Replacement Power Case. They sided with New Energy Economy on ALL of our issues:
1. No New Gas - PNM’s requests for the issuance of CCNs for the Piñon gas plant is DENIED. (RD, p. 174.) This is the third case which PNM has rigged the bid to own a gas plant for replacement power. New Energy Economy has won each case against PNM. (15-00205-UT and 16-00105-UT)
2. No to Monopoly Ownership & Manipulation - PNM’s requests for the PNM-owned Sandia battery project and the Zamora battery project located near Albuquerque are DENIED. (RD, p. 174.)
3. Yes to independently owned low-cost solar plus storage! PNM’s requests for approval of the 300 MW Arroyo PPA, 40 MW Arroyo Energy Storage Agreement, 50 MW Jicarilla PPA, and 20 MW Jicarilla Energy Storage Agreement are GRANTED. (RD, p. 174.)
TOGETHER - WE STOOD FOR JUSTICE AND WON!
Remember the stormy January day that we gathered for a two-part action -- at the PRC and at the first day of the Legislature? The power of the people was potent medicine that day -- your voices helped make this happen! Thank you to all the folks who packed the Public Hearing room -- to Kim and Makai and the Dooli Dine Just Transition crew who came out from their communities to lead the demands for 100% renewable energy replacement power and an end to the desecration of their land, water, and health. To the youth of YUCCA who decried the notion of investing a single dollar more in the destruction of their future. To all our partners and friends. Your collective voices were clear in their unwavering stance against ANY new fossil fuel development. Our legal position mirrored the calls from the people -- and together, we stood for justice and won.
OUR EXPERT WITNESS DAHR JAMAIL, CLIMATE JOURNALIST & AUTHOR OF THE END OF ICE, WAS QUOTED EXTENSIVELY BY THE HEARING EXAMINERS IN THEIR DECISION:
“NEE witness Dahr Jamail, the author of The End of Ice, described in detail the problem of climate change and the role of CO2 emissions from electric generating resources as major contributors to the climate change problem. Mr. Jamail said the climate crisis is the single largest existential threat of our time and that fossil fuel use is the leading cause of the climate crisis. He urges the Commission to establish a moratorium on the approval of any new natural gas resources.” (RD, p. 83 footnotes omitted.)
“[Continued reliance and investment in fossil fuels would] lead to ‘cataclysmic changes’ and ‘unimaginable consequences’ for human civilization.” (RD, p. 84, footnotes omitted.)
“Mr. Jamail summarized his testimony during cross-examination, rejecting suggestions that the CO2 emissions from the proposed natural gas units will be minimal and that the potential future reconfiguration of the gas units to burn methane could reduce greenhouse gas emissions:”
'And even an improvement of going from a coal plant to a gas plant, we’re still going to be adding methane to the atmosphere full stop. Even if it’s a significantly smaller amount. And it makes no sense to do that when we already have existing technology like wind and solar, especially in a state like New Mexico to transition over, on top of the fact that even economically, the stranded assets of burning a new natural gas plant with a fossil fuel industry that is on the way out, it has to be phased out if we’re going to meet any global climate goals whatsoever, or national.
So it makes no sense, environmentally or economically, to build any kind of new fossil fuel-based plant when we have all the technology we need already. And we would have to – we’re going to have to transition over to that in the long run.
So why not start now? Why are we kicking the can down the road when we’ve long since passed the point of no return of how deep into the crisis we are? '"
(RD, p. 85-86, footnotes omitted.)
We are so grateful that the Hearing Examiners heeded the critical evidence we proferred against any further investment in fossil fuels as we fight to reverse our emissions before it's too late.
Let us draw inspiration and renewed strength from this victory in defense of the land, climate, waters, and the health of our relatives on the frontlines. Let us be reminded that when we set the bar high and take courageous stances, we can win! Not just crumbs -- but real victories for our children and for justice.