The Aquifer when fracked

The Aquifer when fracked

Friday, February 3, 2023

Local Choice Energy: Let's make the transition to Public Power


We need your help! We've heard that Local Choice Energy is PNM's top priority to kill this session, and we need to have a strong showing at every single hearing of the bill to refute their misinformation. Please make a plan to show up in person in support of the bill on Tuesday, bring a friend, and send a version of this call to action to your own email list or on social media. Zoom participation is available as well at

Momentum is building. We have support from leaders, grassroots groups and ordinary New Mexicans across the state. Bernalillo and Santa Fe County have signed up in the support. A great article about Local Choice Energy came out in the Santa Fe New Mexican today. Now we need you! 


First, click on the button below to email senators on the Conservation and Judiciary committees. The more you can personalize the subject and content the better.

hen show up on Tuesday, 2/7, at 9 AM at the Senate Conservation Committee in Room 311 at the Roundhouse (490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501). 

PNM has been making the rounds spreading doubt and fear about Local Choice Energy. Get the facts from

San Juan Coal Plant Clean Up Act-- Call to Action to Pass the Bill

San Juan Clean Up Act

San Juan Coal Plant 

HB142 the Generating Facility and Mine Remediation Act was rolled last week when concerns brought up by EMNRD and NMED were raised. Those concerns have been addressed and committee substitute will be heard tomorrow at 9:00AM to ensure that the 59 million tons of coal ash at the abandoned San Juan Generating Station plant and mine are properly cleaned up and the San Juan river watershed is protected from toxic contamination.

The revised bill authorizes NMED and EMNRD to hire outside consultants, environmental engineers, hydrologists, geochemists and other professionals who have experience with coal plant and mine closures to perform an independent comprehensive assessment and report back to the legislature.The assessment will be posted on line no later than July 1, 2025 a copy of the remediation and restoration study shall be provided to the legislature with specific measurable steps, informed by input from impacted communities, to oversee and enforce full remediation and restoration plans. A presentation of the study shall occur at a meeting of the legislative interim committee  and shall  detail how the energy, minerals and natural resources department and the department of environment shall ensure timely environmental compliance with the owners of the  generating facility and mine to protect public health and welfare. The bill also requires yearly updates to the legislature. 

Last week San Juan residents, farmers and water protectors showed up in force to implore lawmakers to prevent toxic contamination of our precious water. This week we expect the committee substitute to be adopted without public comment, but we ask everyone who hasn't done so to click on the button below to email committee members about your support for HB 142. The more you personalize the subject and the message, the better.

House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee
Matthew McQueen, Chair 

Saturday, February 4, 2023  -  9:00AM  -  Room 317 
Please contact Representatives to Pass the Bill .
thank you 

House Energy, Environment & Natural Resources Committee Members
RepresentativeMatthew McQueen50DChair
RepresentativeDebra M. Sariñana21DVice Chair
RepresentativeJames G. Townsend54R
Ranking Member
RepresentativeCynthia Borrego17DMember
RepresentativeMeredith A. Dixon20DMember
RepresentativeMiguel P. García14DMember
RepresentativeRod Montoya1RMember
RepresentativeGreg Nibert59RMember
RepresentativeAngelica Rubio35DMember
RepresentativeLarry R. Scott62RMember
RepresentativeNathan P. Small36DMember

Problem to be solved: 


Public Service Company of New Mexico (“PNM”) has closed its flagship coal plant, San Juan Generating Station (SJGS) and the adjacent San Juan Mine (SJM), after 50 years of operation. There is a history of contamination of the San Juan site at its 250-acre site. An independent comprehensive assessment must be performed in order to develop a comprehensive cleanup plan. 

Essentially, WE NEED A SECOND OPINION. PNM says no problem; the people say we want other advice.

In essence, what will the bill do:


1. Legislature to allocate money to NMED/EMNRD to do an independent comprehensive study of San Juan Generating Station and mine

2. devise a plan with community input to actually clean up 

3. monitor & enforce plan (overseeing PNM and other owners to implement plan)

4. report back to legislature on progress. 

Representatives Anthony Allison and Reena Szczepanski are the lead sponsors on the bill.

 Dear New Mexico Legislators, JANUARY 29TH 2023 

Don’t Kick The Can Down the Road.

The tribal sovereigns and communities on the San Juan River Basin deserve your protection and care to vote in favor of the “San Juan Coal Plant Clean Up Act.”  All stakeholders in this effort must have an agreement on the capability to anticipate, prepare for, respond to and recover from impacts and minimize damage to social well-being, including damage to the economy, health and the environment. Voting in favor of this bill is the first step to implementing resilience in the Four Corners. This act is a pathway towards restoration of the site conditions as they were before the land disturbance.   

During the recent Legislative hearing concerns were brought up about health privacy. Please  see the EPA environmental justice tools, the NM CDC ARGIS, the Air Toxins Tools and the BEN map screening tools that aggregate the social disparate information for consideration regarding implementing regulations, ordinances, on social and health impacts in an impacted area. These screen mapping tools give a picture of the vulnerability in the community. Privacy information would be that same for any google map on the internet that would be able to direct a home food delivery service. The information looks at the area rather than specific home addresses. These tools are public tools and are not considered classified information. Individual health data is protected with these tools. An example would be the general number of hospitalizations from asthma, lung cancers, and premature deaths, not specific information of name and age, such as, John Doe, age 55. Rather would show up as a number of someone who died from lung cancer, lived 5 miles downwind from the coal plant, lived on a contamination plume and whose drinking water was from groundwater wells. This information is crucial in determining the economic and cumulative impact from the contamination on the community. Industry has spent much money in New Mexico preventing these numbers from going public and being considered. Now technology has given public access to communities, local, state and federal agencies to access data in order to make sound decisions.            

Economic risks - The economic risks posed by potential contamination of groundwater wells and the San Juan River are enormous. The river is a primary water source for Navajo and Jicarilla Apache people - well over 50 percent of the San Juan River watershed are Native American lands. The impacts of contamination will be much more widespread, with nearly every major population in New Mexico impacted by the river, whose waters are diverted to feed the Rio Grande reaching all the way to Albuquerque. 

200,000 acres of land are irrigated in the San Juan watershed and recreational boating, fishing and rafting bring vital economic dollars to local communities. To ensure that toxic chemicals from the San Juan site do not contaminate groundwater and flow into the San Juan River, it is critical to remove coal ash from any risk of contact with groundwater. If coal ash comes in contact with groundwater, hazardous toxins will continue to leach into water in perpetuity. Contamination of the river via careless industry oversight poses an enormous economic risk to our state.

The health of the San Juan watershed and the people who depend on it cannot be left in the

hands of corporate executives. It must be independently verifiable, transparent and thorough. 

Comprehensive cleanup now will prevent an environmental, health and economic disaster later. An independent assessment and remediation plan will include measurable steps & shall:

  • This is an opportunity to be informed by input from impacted community members; 

  • ensure that toxic metal contaminants don’t leach into the ground and leak into waterways or otherwise harm the public, animals or agriculture and cause negative public health consequences;

  • create necessary closure provisions and corrective actions that include safe and appropriate

  • disposal of waste, regular groundwater monitoring and regular reporting available for the public on accessible internet sites.

An independent assessment could PREVENT leaking of toxic contaminants into the San Juan

River, a catastrophic intergenerational injustice that must be avoided in New Mexico, where

water is already a precious and dwindling resource. Rather than rubber stamp industry plans, an independent comprehensive assessment of the potential dangers and impacts to health and the economy is necessary to protect the San Juan community and those downstream.

Vote to protect our waters, our communities and the sovereign nations.

Don’t kick the can down the road, we need a real solution. 

CALL TO ACTION -- Pass the Green Amendment

The Green Amendment  

In the same spirit of environmental protection and leaving a lasting legacy of protection for future generations, we, the undersigned, are calling upon you to publicly support passage of the New Mexico Green Amendment.

The New Mexico Green Amendment will Amend Article II of our State Constitution so our environmental rights are given the same respect and protection as the other human, civil and political rights we hold dear, such as our rights to speech, property and religious freedom.  The New Mexico Green Amendment will recognize and ensure that:

1. The people of the state have the natural, inherent and inalienable right to a clean and healthy environment, including water, air, soil, flora, fauna, ecosystems and climate, and to the protection of the natural, cultural, scenic and healthful qualities of the environment.

2. The protection of the state's environment is hereby declared to be of fundamental importance to health, safety and the public interest.

3. The state, including it's political subdivision, shall serve as trustee of the natural resources of New Mexico and shall conserve, protect and maintain these resources for the benefit of all the people, including present and future generations.

As a self-executing provision that replaces existing Article XX Section 21, the New Mexico Green Amendment will ensure that present and future generations will continue to benefit from all the values provided by a safe, secure and healthy environment.

 Sign the petition to the Governor

In the final analysis – the New Mexico Constitution is the People’s Document, it should be up to New Mexicans if they want it amended.  The legislature passing the NM Green Amendment doesn’t itself amend the constitution. What It does is put the question before the voters to decide.  But that can only happen if there are hearings and the legislature passes the amendment through the process. Please take a moment to help call for this critical action.

Write a letter to your local news editor in support of a New Mexico Green Amendment

The people of New Mexico deserve a right to clean water and air, to a stable climate and healthy environments, and to the natural, cultural, scenic and human health values of the environment. The first step in securing this most powerful protection is for the New Mexico legislators to provide majority support for the New Mexico Green Amendment (majority support in each of the legislative houses). After that, it is up to the people to decide whether to amend the state constitution to ensure these environmental rights. And so, education into the values and importance of the New Mexico Green Amendment is key.

A great way to show your support for constitutional environmental rights that are meaningful and enforceable, and at the same time to help educate legislators and others in your community about the value and power of having a constitutional Green Amendment, is to submit a letter to the editor that offers educational information and urges support. 

In just a few easy steps you can get on the record in your community with your own letter to the editor and help New Mexico to become the 4th state to provide this most powerful right to a clean and healthy environment.

Simply fill out your information to search for local publications near you. You may choose to send your letter to any or all of the listed news media outlets. We have also provided suggested text/bullet points to help you as you craft your own letter. It’s as simple as that!

Short Tweet or Call

The NMLegis passing the NM Green Amendment doesn’t amend the constitution. 

What It does is put the question before the voters to decide. 

This can only happen if there are hearings TIME FOR A HEARING!

Tweet Rep Cynthia Borrego to Vote for the Green amendment @cynthia4nmhouse

Tell Nathan Small If is is an Environmental list then Show the people Vote for the the Green Amendment 


Contact the NM House Environment Committee

TitleHouse Environment Committee DistrictPartyRole
RepresentativeMatthew McQueen50DChair
RepresentativeDebra M. Sariñana21DVice Chair
RepresentativeJames G. Townsend54R
Ranking Member
RepresentativeCynthia Borrego17DMember
RepresentativeMeredith A. Dixon20DMember
RepresentativeMiguel P. García14DMember
RepresentativeRod Montoya1RMember
RepresentativeGreg Nibert59RMember
RepresentativeAngelica Rubio35DMember
RepresentativeLarry R. Scott62RMember
RepresentativeNathan P. Small36DMember

If you Support the Green amendment You can write Letter to the Editor Here

Here is Common ground Rising letter it Support For the Green Amendment 

February 3, 2023 

Common Ground Community Trust ( and its 500 members support the New Mexico Green Amendment, which secures for all people constitutional recognition and protection of their inalienable rights to pure water, clean air, a stable climate and healthy environments. The Green Amendment supporters seek to inspire the pursuit and passage of self-executing, environmental rights amendments in the Bill of Rights section of the New Mexico Constitution

The Constitutional Amendment gives people a right to decide by a democratic ballot measure to secure the right to clean water, air, a stable climate and healthy environment. New Mexico agencies, commission, legislature and campaigns are captured by the fossil fuel industry. Most New Mexico agencies do not have the funding to enforce the regulations, they cannot monitor effectively, nor do they have the personnel to do the work needed to complete its mission and protect people and environment. It is no secret that there are ordered OZONE nonattainment areas in New Mexico that have been erroneously lifted leaving unhealthy and hazardous conditions in the Permian, San Juan and Middle Rio Grande Basins. By the legislature's lack of action to fully fund the EMRD, NMED and DOH it has forced its systematically marginalized policies onto disparate communities and sovereign nations in New Mexico who must find judicial relief through Citizens’ Suits. These agencies are well aware of the poisonous conditions that the continued permitting of pollution which results in collateral damage impacted areas causing sacrifice zones. 

When one considers the legislative fiscal impact report on this bill including the phony excuses that were given by EMRD that this amendment brings more legal proceedings and would threaten renewable energy projects, one only has to consider whether the agencies actually mean that they understand that their support of false renewable energy solutions that strand assets and risk public safety and health would threaten their masters, fossil fuel interests. 

Real zero and real solutions do not threaten more litigation nor does the Green Amendment. Given that the threat of autocracy is evident with the dissolving of a democratically elected PRC commission, it is only fitting that the legislators of the 2023 session give the people the right to say what their New Mexico Constitution should be. 

It is time the New Mexico legislators make amends for the autocratic PRC appointments and vote yes on the Green Amendment to give the Citizens of New Mexico the right to decide whether we want our constitution amended. After all, the New Mexico Constitution is by, for and of the people and it should be up to us whether to amend it. That can only happen if the legislature passes the NM Green Amendment so it can be added to the ballot for the people to decide.

In gratitude for your Yes Vote.

Respectfully speaking truth to power,

Elaine Cimino Director 

Common Ground Community Trust 


Zoominar: Thurs., Feb. 2, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Green Amendment: What It Is & What It Isn’t 

Join Green Amendment founder Maya van Rossum and a panel of experts to discuss what the Green Amendment is, why NM needs it, and how it has been implemented in Pennsylvania and NY. There is a great deal of misinformation swirling around the legislature. This Zoom will orient you to changes in this year’s legislation and help you better advocate with your legislators. Panelists: 

  • Maya van Rossum, founder of the Green Amendment for the Generations movement, an author of The Green Amendment, a book outlining the case for why we need constitutional protection of our right to clean, air, water and land. For over two years, Maya has been working with environmental activists to pass the Environmental Rights Act, AKA Green Amendment in NM. 
  • Mark L. Freed, Esq. of Pennsylvania is a partner at Curtin & Heefner LLP with a focus on Public Sector Law and Environmental Law and Litigation. Freed has worked on the responsible and strategic implementation of PA’s Green Amendment in a number of cases and assisted in promoting Green Amendment legislation across the country. He will speak about how the Green Amendment has been implemented in PA.
  • Todd D. Ommen of New York is the Managing Attorney at the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic, Inc. and a Professor of Law at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law. He closely studied and advocated for the passage of NY’s Green Amendment, which passed in 2021. He now works with a team of environmental advocates and attorneys in NY to ensure the best implementation of NY’s Green Amendment and to educate members of the public and government officials on their new rights and obligations.
  • Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, the primary sponsor of this year’s SJR 6 Environmental Rights (Green Amendment) will tell us what we can do to help get this Joint Resolution passed this year. (If her hearing schedule permits!)