Yesterday I posted the ‘good’ news that PNM was moving toward embracing renewables and that this is part of a national trend predicated on economics, not climate justice. Today, I call out PNM for wanting to rely on coal for another 14 years and for unnecessarily investing $720M in ‘improvements’ that should have been invested in renewables.Thousands streamed from the Bandstand to the Roundhouse yesterday for the March for Science. Once settled in at the Roundhouse, the crowd heard from Senator Tom Udall, US Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, Mayor Javier Gonzalez, and a host of scientists. Next Saturday from 3:30-6pm, a different sort of climate justice event will be held at El Museo in Santa Fe, where climate activists will convene to discuss strategies for accelerate our drive to 100% renewables. Click here for Retake’s Events & Opportunities page where you will find details on this event, as well as our Wall of Love project and next Saturday’s KSFR radio show. The rest of today’s short blog focuses on commentary on PNM’s too little, too late, too slow determination that renewables should be part of their energy portfolio.
Just three months ago, over the vigorous objections of New Energy Economy (NEE), PNM told the New Mexico Supreme Court that further investment in coal was the most cost effective resource for the next twenty years. They ‘evidence’ they provided to support this assertion was based upon entirely outdated cost projections and hence, was shown to be utterly worthless. Furthermore, using current data NEE completely unraveled PNM’s argument by proving that it would save ratepayers $300M to exit coal now and invest in renewables. The price of renewables have been steadily declining and dirty coal and expensive nuclear can no longer compete on economic terms. PNM has finally conceded that continuing to invest in San Juan Coal is not economical – but they are asking us to take their word that another fourteen years of Four Corners Coal is prudent without providing any financial analysis to justify this assertion. Fourteen more years of burning climate-altering, deadly coal is unacceptable. PNM should retire All coal operations as soon as possible. It is both cost effective and will create thousands of jobs, while eliminating the toxic impact of coal production to our environment and our health.
What is truly astonishing is that only months before now acknowledging what NEE has been asserting for years: that renewables are the most cost-effective source of energy in New Mexico– Without conducting any kind of financial analysis, PNM spent $720M on the San Juan Plant and is now seeking reimbursement for this foolish investment. This is the kind of hubris that has characterized all of PNM’s behavior in manipulating the Public Regulation Commission for years.
While it is good news that suddenly PNM sees the economic wisdom of investing in renewables and exiting from coal, NEE has been presenting evidence to this effect for years and promising to make the switch in 14 years is simply not quick enough. Retake Our Democracy will follow developments as they unfold. Indeed, two years ago along with a half dozen other Santa Fe activists, Roxanne and I bought stock in PNM so that we could participate in their shareholders meetings. That meeting is coming up May 16 and we are introducing a resolution that must be voted on at the meeting. We will be attending and we will report on the outcome of the vote.
Paul & Roxanne