Las Cruces, New Mexico
Contact: Gary H. Johnson, Jr., Campaign Manager
For Immediate Release
October 19, 2011 – Toxic EPA Policy in San Juan Case
“Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”
-Barack Hussein Obama, 2008
Martin Heinrich’s financial backers, the Obama Administration and the EPA are determined to kill the coal industry in the United States and to force electricity prices to skyrocket for nearly a million New Mexico customers.
The facts are clear in the dust-up between the Public Services Company of New Mexico (PNM Resources) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the implementation of the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) in the case of the San Juan Generating Station. The CAA and EPA’s regional haze rules specify that states, not the EPA, are to have the primary decision-making role in implementing the regional haze program; however, by refusing to review the state of New Mexico’s implementation plan, the Agency has chosen to unlawfully enforce the Clean Air Act in a punitive power grab.
Between 2006 and 2009, the owners of the San Juan Generating Station invested over $320 million in state of the art technology and equipment for their coal-fired plant, which reduced emissions of Nitrogen Oxides by 44%, Sulfur Dioxide by 71%, and haze generating particulate matter by 72%. As a strong partner in conservation with New Mexico, PNM’s innovative environmental safeguards included the installation of cutting-edge Mercury removal technology and has achieved a remarkable 99% removal rate.
The President of PNM and the members of the San Juan Generating Station’s Board deserve the praise and thanks of the business leaders and citizens of New Mexico for their willingness to take the lead in maintaining a clean environment. Instead, the EPA ruled that San Juan must be retrofitted with further emission control equipment at a cost of well over $700 million, even though similar emission controls can be achieved for one-tenth the price. It is in the public interests of New Mexico for the EPA to grant the owners of San Juan a stay of its rule. PNM should also be granted a stay pending completion of judicial review by the Tenth Circuit.
The unlawful maneuver by the EPA was initiated due to the agency’s attempt to satisfy a lawsuit registered by WildEarth Guardians. WildEarth Guardians is led by the Colorado-based environmental activist, Jeremy Nichols. Nichols’ assault on so-called “dirty coal” is joined by numerous activists which make up the League of Conservation Voters.
WildEarth Guardians has contributed $5,000 to the Martin Heinrich Campaign. The League of Conservation Voters Action Fund has already raised over $70,000 for the 2012 Heinrich Senate bid, after raising over $118,000 for his 2010 Congressional race. Martin Heinrich was endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters on April 27, 2011.
Martin Heinrich’s financial backers are eager to implement crippling electricity rate hikes throughout New Mexico. Worse, according to a new report by our friends at the Institute for Energy Research, the Obama Administration’s toxic EPA policies are set to force the closure of around 80 coal-fired power plants across the nation, removing 28,000 MW of power from the U.S. energy grid by 2016.
The lesson is clear – Martin Heinrich is the wrong choice for New Mexico.