Natural Gas: A Bridge to Extinction, the Myth of Natural Gas Debunked & Know PNM is Coming with a Plan

Speaker Egolf wrote a commentary on how SB 489 allows natural gas in Four Corners. Look for PNM, the Governor, and possibly some of enviro grasstop allies to begin cultivating the field, readying us with myths about the need for natural gas as a needed bridge to the future. This post obliterates that assertion. Plus, time to RSVP for today’s Retake Community Mtg. Details.

We’ve got a meeting tonight and I know there are folks out there planning to come who have not RSVP’d. Please do so now by writing to me at Paul@RetakeOurDemocracy.org.  It really helps us set. up. Details on the meeting below. Also info on Next Steps for the Health Security Act and a panel discussion on the WIPP and Holtec plans to make NM the nuclear dumping grounds for the Nation. But the feature today is on PNM and future plans for a gas plant as replacement power for the closing San Juan Generating Station. We feature excerps from an excellent new report by Oil Change International. The report has been endorsed by 350.org, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Food & Water Watch and other major enviro organizations. Time to get engaged, educated, organized and active. More coming. Read on…and RSVP. ;-).

Wednesday, June 5, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Retake Our Democracy, Community Input & Strategy Session at the Center for Progress Justice, 1420 Cerrillos, in Santa Fe. Last meeting we began sketching a 2019-2020 legislative and election strategy, as well as an outreach and organizing process. Whether you were able to attend or not, we want to encourage you to come to this meeting and help us develop strategies that make the best use of Retake resources and capacities over the next 10 months as we prepare for another Roundhouse session and the 2020 June primary.  Click here to review the notes from the May meeting.  We have emerging plans for:

  • A Statewide Media and Marketing Campaign with a Co-Lead identified and prepared to lead a breakout on Wednesday
  • A Climate Action Team with several folks interested in leadership roles with this team;
  • An Outreach and Organizing Team that will cultivate relationships with activists in other regions of the state, focusing on NM Houses & Senate Districts where Democrats have impeded passage of important bills;
  • A Research Team that will continue its work researching bills that could be introduced in 2020 and to conduct research in areas where Retake may want to advance policy or in areas where we will want to be fully informed on water, energy, and transition plans.
  • A Team to develop plans for our involvement at the Interim Hearings that are just getting under way.

Other roles may emerge Wednesday. You do NOT have to live in or around Santa Fe to be part of this work. You do NOT have to attend meetings in Santa Fe. If any of these teams sound interesting to you, please just email me at Paul@RetakeOurDemocracy.org. As the teams begin to form and identify specific goals and tasks, you will be contacted to participate. We are exploring ways in which we can stream these monthly Community Meetings to other parts of the state and to utilize technology like Zoom to include people from other regions in our Team work.  Please join us.

Light food, NO DRINK CUZ WE DON’T WANT TO USE PLASTIC. But we will have Retake Our Democracy stickers you can put on your your water bottle.  no drink, just very important conversation. Please RSVP by writing to us at paul@retakeourdemocracy.org

Health Security Fiscal Analysis Workshop: Saturday, June 8, 9:30 AM-12:00 PM.  St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 5301 Ponderosa Ave NE, Albuquerque, NM   Will the Health Security Plan be affordable for our state? Will Health Security save us money?   The 2019 legislature allocated $389,000 to the Legislative Finance Committee to find out the answers to these and other questions by conducting a fiscal analysis of the Health Security Plan. 
  • Are you interested in learning more about the fiscal analysis process?
  • How will experts determine the cost of Health Security? What information will they need to gather? What questions will they be looking to answer?
  • Find out at Saturday‘s workshop.

Roxanne will be out of town this weekend. I will be speaking at a Democratic Party event in Rio Rancho, so we can’t cover this. Can you?  We want to stay on top of this process and understand how we can weigh in on the process and support it. Speaker Egolf laughed at the Health Security Act as a concept saying:  “It will cost the state $8 billion to implement. We can’t afford it.”  I am tired of being told how unrealistic common sense solutions are. Are you? We need to be informed and keep informed on issues like this so that false claims are made, we can counter those claims. The HSA has had two prior studies in NM, both undertaken under less favorable financial conditions than today. If the study is done fairly, it will show that HSA is financially feasible. Indeed it will show that it would be medical, economic and political malpractice to not implement it. But we need to be involved from the start. And this is the start.


 “Nuclear Wasteland — New Mexico? (WIPP and HOLTEC nuclear waste projects).” 6 p.m. June 19 at the Center for Peace and Justice, 1420 Cerrillos, Santa Fe.Santa Fe Democrats to host public forum on WIPP, HOLTEC.  The moderator is Cheryl Rofer, a former chemist at LANL. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant already exists near Carlsbad, and a new nuclear waste facility is being  proposed by the Holtec Corporation in the same area.  Distinguished panel members will be presented with prepared questions regarding these two projects. The Santa Fe County Democratic Party is sponsoring the forum.  If we don’t want New Mexico to become the nuclear waste dump of the US, we need to be informed and active around this issue. So plan

We Need to be Prepared for PNM’s Next Maneuver:  Natural Gas as the Essential Piece in their Profit Party and Our Extinction be Damned–Natural Gas as a Bridge to Renewables is a Dangerous Myth

We wrote repeatedly about the Wizard of Oz nature of SB 489 and how it would limit PRC authority over PNM plans for replacement power and how SB 489 explicitly allows for the use of natural gas as the power source to replace the lost energy resulting from closing San Juan.  So, now the seeds are sown. Expect a carefully constructed media campaign promoting natural gas as the needed bridge to a time when solar and wind are ready to address our energy needs. But as the excerpts below describe, we are already at a point where we do not need natural gas as a bridge, and trusting our utility and gas and oil industries to have our best interests in mind, is a certain road to extinction.  Burning the Gas “Bridge Fuel” Myth: Why Gas is Not Cheap, Clean or Necessary completely dismantles the arguments we are about to find surfacing in NM.  Below are excerpts from the Executive Summary of this tremendous report. 

During the SB 489 hearings, Camilla Feibelman, Executive Director at Sierra Club and David Coss, President of Sierra Club, Rio Grande Chapter both asserted strongly that they would fight gas with all they have.  It will take that.  Please read on and get informed on this issue. Share it with others. The day is not far off when this battle will be on. Big time.

1.  Gas Breaks the Carbon Budget: The economically recoverable oil, gas, and coal in the world’s currently producing and underconstruction extraction projects would take the world far beyond safe climate limits. Further development of untapped gas reserves is inconsistent with the climate goals in the Paris Agreement.

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Coal-to-Gas Switching Doesn’t Cut It: Climate goals require the energy sector to be decarbonized by mid-century. This means that both coal and gas must be phased out. Replacing coal plants with new gas plants will not cut emissions by nearly enough, even if methane leakage is kept to a minimum.

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Low-Cost Renewables Can Displace Coal and Gas: The dramatic and ongoing cost declines for wind and solar disrupt the business model for gas in the power sector. Wind and solar will play an increasing role in replacing retiring fossil fuel capacity.

 

 

 

 

 

4.  Gas Is Not Essential for Grid Reliability: Wind and solar require balancing, but gas is not the only, nor the best, resource available for doing so. Battery storage is fast becoming competitive with gas plants designed for this purpose (known as “peakers”). Wind and solar plants that are coupled with battery storage are also becoming a competitive “dispatchable” source of energy. Managing high levels of wind and solar on the grid requires optimizing a wide range of technologies and solutions, including battery storage, demand response, and transmission. There is no reason to favor gas as the primary solution.

 

 

5.  New Gas Infrastructure Locks In Emissions: Multibillion-dollar gas infrastructure built today is designed to operate for decades to come. Given the barriers to closing down infrastructure ahead of its expected economic lifespan, it is critical to stop building new infrastructure, the full lifetime emissions of which will not fit within Paris-aligned carbon budgets.

Click here to read the full report.:Burning the Gas “Bridge Myth”: Why Natural Gas is Not Cheap, Clean, or Necessary.  To read the two-page Executive Summary, click here.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Natural Gas: A Bridge to Extinction, the Myth of Natural Gas Debunked & Know PNM is Coming with a Plan

  1. I just downloaded food & water watch’s “The Fracking Endgame: Locked into Plastics, Pollution, and Climate Chaos.” (via CommonDreams.org). By the time corporate leaders and their big investors wake up and feel some regret for the damage, including to themselves and their children, it will be too late.
    I am reminded that most physicians didn’t think smoking was very harmful until the Surgeon General said it was so. Even they were reliant on both authority and wishful thinking.
    I remained a “sun-worshipper” until I had some melanoma (in my late fifties), and a smoker until I had a serious bout of chest pain (in my mid forties). What does it take to wake us up to consequences?

  2. Pingback: A Look Back At the Myth of Natural Gas, a Call For a General Strike and Details Behind WIPP & Now Holtec | Retake Our Democracy

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