July 24, 2012
PNM Calls Public Process for Regional Haze Solution 'Vital to Future of New Mexico'
Albuquerque: The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) convened a public forum today in Farmington to gather stakeholder input into possible alternatives for meeting federal visibility requirements related to nearby San Juan Generating Station.
PNM Senior Vice President of Public Policy Ron Darnell made the following comments at today’s meeting:
On behalf of PNM, let me express my thanks to NMED for organizing this important conversation today. The process that begins with this meeting today is vital to the future of New Mexico and we appreciate the opportunity to be here today and to listen to many voices on this issue.
PNM is pleased that EPA has granted a 90-day stay of the federal plan to address regional haze requirements at San Juan Generating Station. The EPA action gives all parties the opportunity to explore viable alternatives to the federal plan and the state plan.
We strongly supported the state plan to address regional haze over the federal plan, as it met the requirements of the Clean Air Act at a lower cost. The EPA did not accept that plan and instead developed a federal plan that is considerably more expensive. We now have an opportunity to consider whether there is a third option available that could accomplish the important environmental goals while lessening the financial burden on New Mexico ratepayers.
Given the level of interest in this discussion today, it is clear that everyone agrees there is much at stake as we all consider the possibility of a third alternative.
Like everyone here, PNM firmly believes it is in our best interest to invest for the future. That sometimes means changing directional course. But that kind of change does not happen quickly.
PNM believes that a truly viable alternative will meet the environmental and economic needs of the people of New Mexico, the Navajo Nation and the Four Corners region -- while transitioning the state to a cleaner and more sustainable approach to energy generation.
PNM will work diligently with all parties to develop an alternative approach that creates value for the people of New Mexico by reducing emissions while working to keep electricity costs down.
This is a complicated issue that touches the lives of many in New Mexico and the Southwest and West, and we believe it is important to understand perspectives from all stakeholders as we begin exploring a new path forward.
Two different plans were developed for New Mexico to meet regional haze requirements of the Clean Air Act: one by the state and the other by the EPA. Both plans meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act, but provisions of EPA’s plan related to San Juan Generating Station are estimated to cost significantly more than the state’s plan, with almost no discernible difference in visibility.
On Oct. 21, 2011, the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez petitioned EPA to issue a stay of the implementation of the federal plan. On Sept. 16 and Oct. 21, 2011, PNM petitioned EPA to issue a stay of the rule. On April 26, 2012, Gov. Martinez sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson reiterating the state’s request for a stay and encouraging consideration of alternative approaches. On July 2, 2012, the EPA notified the state that it had issued a 90-day stay.
At the same time, PNM has taken its case to federal court to appeal EPA’s mandate. The Governor of New Mexico and the NMED are also in federal court appealing EPA’s decision to adopt a federal plan. The court has not yet ruled on the matter.
For more information, visit PNM.com/news.
With headquarters in Albuquerque, PNM is the largest electricity provider in New Mexico, serving 500,000 customers in dozens of communities across the state. PNM is a subsidiary of PNM Resources, an energy holding company also headquartered in Albuquerque. For more information, visit PNM.com.
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
Statements made in this news release that relate to PNM's expectations, projections and estimates are made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers are cautioned that all forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations and estimates and PNM assumes no obligation to update this information..