Wow!!! We are SO excited to share some incredible news today --- after literally YEARS of battling PNM's continued investment in Palo Verde Nuclear -- we've WON! Today PNM has finally caved under the pressure and WILL NOT be renewing their leases in Unit 1 and Unit 2. We have been fighting PNM's nuclear investments since 2013 when we took a strong position against PNM's use of nuclear as replacement power for the first closures at the San Juan Coal Plant. We opposed PNM's nuclear investments in two subsequent rate-cases and won a Supreme Court Victory that resulted in the finding that PNM's investment was imprudent. Last year, on Earth Day on behalf of New Energy Economy and 26 of our ally organizations, we filed a Joint-Petition Requesting PRC Investigation into PNM's Planned Purchase of Expiring Nuclear Leases.
This victory will:
SAVE New Mexicans more than $1.1Billion dollars for the electricity alone over the next 22 years. This does not include future decommissioning costs. Remember when we talk about savings, it's not a matter of being thrifty - 20% of New Mexicans live in poverty, 83% of whom are people of color. Higher nuclear generated electricity costs have disproportionately hurt them. In some cases, people facing poverty spend between 20-50% of their household income on electricity, causing enormous hardship.
This will protect communities from the serious health and environmental concerns around nuclear produced energy and radioactive waste and is one small step toward rectifying a violent legacy of environmental racism and injustice against Indigenous people.
Our deepest bow of gratitude to Larry King who has been a spokesperson against nuclear extraction in defense of his people and who has taught us so much. His Expert Testimony in our Petition is one of the most powerful testimonies we've ever had the honor of proffering to a Court.
A huge thank you to Navajo Nation Councilman Daniel Tso for always being a fearless voice against extraction and FOR his people and Mother Earth.
We are also so grateful to David Van Winkle, former New Energy Economy Board Chair and frequent expert, who alerted us to PNM’s planned purchase of more nuclear and proffered brilliant economic testimony that calculated the financial risk to ratepayers.
Thank you to our Joint Petitioners: Citizens for Fair Rates and the Environment, the Climate Change Leadership Institute, Concerned Citizens of Wagon Mound and Mora County, Dooda (No) Desert Rock, Earth Care, Food and Water Watch, Hispano Round Table of Nuevo Mexico, Honor Our Pueblo Existence (HOPE), Honor the Earth, Indigenous Lifeways Inc, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Los Jardines Institute, Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE), Physicians for Social Responsibility NM, Renewable Taos, Retake Our Democracy, Rio Arriba Concerned Citizens (RACC), Securing Economic and Energy Democracy (SEED), The Southwest Indigenous Uranium Forum (SIUF), Student Advocacy Union NM, Taos United, Tewa Women United, and Wild Earth Guardians.
Thanks to all of YOU for standing by our side and continuing to raise your voices against further nuclear investment, even when that position has been unpopular or has seemed unachievable.