Today, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled the state Public Regulation Commission (PRC) must apply the Energy Transition Act (ETA) to Public Service Co. of New Mexico’s (PNM) abandonment of its remaining interest in the San Juan Generating Station.
A key element of this decision is the funding mechanism contained in the act to ensure that a portion of the savings from moving to lower cost, cleaner energy sources will support an energy transition for Northwestern New Mexico. The ETA makes funds available to address conditions in affected Native communities, support planning for economic diversification, and provide assistance to displaced workers. The decision removes the cloud of uncertainty that has hung over these funds. The PRC now has an opportunity to get these funds out the door and begin working towards a clean energy future for the region.
Transition funding is of one of three key pieces of the ETA. The others are smoothing the way for PNM to abandon San Juan while securing lower-cost electric power for its customers, and minimizing adverse environmental impacts from replacement power.
“We commend the state of New Mexico’s Supreme Court for this remarkable ruling that will provide real economic benefits for communities, workers, and the economy of Northwest New Mexico,” said Robyn Jackson, climate & energy outreach coordinator for Diné CARE. “Our Diné communities in the Four Corners region can now fully know they are supported in transitioning from a fossil fuel-based economy to more sustainable and renewable forms of economic development and technologies.”
“We are grateful for the Supreme Court’s decision supporting the lawful application of the Energy Transition Act,” said Kyle Tisdel, Climate and Energy Program director at the Western Environmental Law Center. “It not only positions our state to be leaders in the clean energy economy of tomorrow, but it also ensures a just transition and critical funding to communities that have lived in the shadow of polluting coal-fired electric generation.”
“The Supreme Court decision that the Energy Transition Act applies to PNM’s abandonment of San Juan Generating Station confirms the urgency for energy transition planning and funding for the impacted community, including economic diversification and renewables replacement energy portfolio,” said Mike Eisenfeld, Energy and Climate Program manager at San Juan Citizens Alliance. “It presents an unprecedented opportunity for the Four Corners region to have a meaningful role in the transition to a clean and sustainable economy within New Mexico.”