PRC Call to Action: PNM Seeks (Un)Natural Gas; Exxon Partnership with NMSU

Breaking News: Supreme Court Protects Dreamers! Plus several calls to action related to the legislative special session starting today. And powerful video on police violence in Chicago in the 80s-90s.

Breaking News! The Supreme Court ruled this morning to protect Dreamers from Trump’s efforts to end the program, with conservative justice Roberts calling his action “arbitrary and capricious.”

In addition to the Exxon-Mobil partnership with NMSU to study how to use produced water, below we provide a Call to Action related to PNM’s plan for replacing San Juan power with an (un)natural gas plant. Then an incredibly timely video, produced 30 years ago, about police violence in Chicago, where you’ll find prominently featured two important New Mexico activists, Mariel Nanasi and Jeff Haas. Aside from the fun of seeing friends in an important documentary from the 90s, this is an excellent film in its own right. Thank you, Mariel and Jeff, you’ve been at this an awfully long time.

Retake on KSFR, 101.1 FM, Saturday, June 20, 8:30-9:00 am with Greg Mello, Executive Director of the Los Alamos Study Group. We discussed the history of LANL involvement with nuclear arms development and its current proposed expansion of arms research and production.

Zoominar on Public Banking in New Mexico, Tues., June 23, 6:30 – 8:00 pm. This is a complex, often misunderstood, concept but the folks on this panel will lay it out clearly and then you will be able to ask questions. Learn how a public bank could significantly reduce the cost for NM to improve our water system, repair our roads and crumbling infrastructure, create a statewide clean energy grid, and reduce the costs of other major capital improvements throughout the state. With a state public bank, these kinds of projects would become doable instead of being concepts put in a queue to be addressed “when we can afford them.” You must register for this Zoominar. Learn more and register at this link.

ExxonMobil To Collaborate with NMSU on Produced Water: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

As reported in the Grant County Beat, New Mexico State University and ExxonMobil have created a collaboration “to coordinate research involving produced water projects and provide educational opportunities for students.”

The University and ExxonMobil both agree this is a wonderful development. From the Beat:

“This is a wonderful opportunity for NMSU to collaborate with ExxonMobil to leverage the expertise of both academia and industry to try and find solutions to our nation’s water challenges,” said NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu. “This agreement illustrates NMSU’s strength in water and environmental engineering research.”

Grant County Beat

And more from the Beat:

“This is a very valuable experience for the students,” Xu said. “Students learn about fundamental theories, but when we work with ExxonMobil the students are exposed to the industry. They ask very practical questions and learn real-world, hands-on experience by communicating with industry partners. It also allows us to get industry input for the advanced research we do.”

Grant County Beat

So, the industry that has created the toxic water from their fracking process and is stuck with millions, perhaps billions, of dollars of costs to contain this water now gets to guide the research for finding a way to solve their problems. What could possibly go wrong?

Click here to read the full Beat report.

The (Un)Natural Gas
(Non)Solution, Courtesy of PNM

The Public Regulation Commission will rule in the next few weeks on whether to allow PNM to build a new gas power plant to replace power from the San Juan Generating Station, which is being retired. There is so much wrong with this proposal and we want to be sure the PRC knows this. Retake launched a petition focusing on these issues during our last Zoominar. (Watch a video of that Zoominar at the bottom of this post.) Here is a short list of all that is wrong with PNM’s (un)natural gas plan:

  • A gas plant requires continuous fracking operations, hence our term “(un)natural.”
  • A gas plant would be more expensive than solar and battery storage. This is precisely why PNM has chosen this. PNM makes 9.575% in profit on every dollar spent constructing a new power facility. The costlier the better for PNM’s profits, a totally perverse incentive.
  • A gas plant would require ongoing and expensive maintenance, and again, each added dollar spent on maintenance generates another 9.575% profit for PNM.
  • There will be expensive decommissioning costs once the plant’s useful life ends.
  • While PNM will cease selling gas from the plant to New Mexico in 2040 to comply with the transition to renewables required in the ETA, they can continue to sell the gas to other states indefinitely.

Below, you will find a link to our Zoominar from last week that zeroed in on this issue.

In solidarity and hope,

Paul & Roxanne

Call to Action

Sign up for Alerts: Our Statewide Alert system is an essential tool for staying current during the Special Session that begins today. There is far more on the agenda than the budget. Click here to get Action Alerts.

Fri., June 19, 2020 Juneteenth Protest

Last week, the Santa Chapter of Veterans For Peace resumed their Friday Noon protests at the corner of Cerrillos and St. Francis in Santa Fe. In keeping with the spirit of the George Floyd uprising, they will display the banner above. 

VFP is hoping to be joined by many allies. They will strictly maintain physical distancing by spreading out along the sidewalk, using all four corners if necessary.  

If you need more information on the Movement for Black Lives and Juneteenth events, go to

Holtec Hearings & How You Can Weigh In

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will conduct two public meetings via webinar, soliciting comments on a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Holtec International’s proposed Consolidated Interim Storage Facility (CISF) for spent nuclear fuel in Lea County, New Mexico. 

The draft EIS evaluates potential environmental impacts of Holtec’s request to build and operate the proposed CISF. 

The meeting webinars are accessible to the public by navigating, on the day and time of the meeting, to the link below and, when prompted, entering the event number associated with the date of the webinar. 

Telephone access is also provided by dialing the telephone number and entering the passcode provided below. 

The NRC staff will present the results of the draft environmental impact analysis and receive the public’s comments on the draft report. 

The NRC invites members of the public to attend the webinar and present oral comments on the draft EIS.

WEBINAR 1 – Tues., June 23, 3 pm MDT

Access the webinar here.

Event #: 199 800 0026

Password:  HOLTEC

Telephone #: 888-454-7496

Tel. passcode: 5790355

WEBINAR 2 – Thurs., July 9, 3 pm MDT

Access the webinar here.

Event # 199 943 8370

Password: HOLTEC

Telephone #: 800-475-0220   

Tel. passcode: 9575497

Those wishing to present oral comments are asked to pre-register by June 22 for the webinar on June 23, and by July 8 for the webinar on July 9, by contacting Ms. Antoinette Walker-Smith via e-mail at:

The public may also submit written comments on the EIS before July 22.  Click here to access a Federal Register page that offers more information on the issue, including how to submit written comments.

The draft EIS can be found on the NRC public webpage for the Holtec CISF license application at

A good overview of the issue from the NM Political Report can be found here.

PNM Shareholders for a Responsible Future

One of the issues discussed is gas replacement power for San Juan.

Police Violence in Chicago in the 80s-90s
Featuring Local Activists
Mariel Nanasi & Jeff Haas

In solidarity and hope,

Roxanne and Paul

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