Jim Crawford reports on various state and federal agencies intent on causing our rates to rise in the name of Al Gore and other mimicking him.
Some of you may be aware that PNM has proposed closing down units 2 and 3 of the San Juan Generating Station as part of a “compromise” and “tentative” agreement with EPA to reduce haze. The plan and “tentative” agreement have been approved by the NM Environmental Improvement Board and has been submitted to NM Public Regulation Commission (PRC) for their approval as well. PRC has scheduled hearings on the proposed plan starting October 6 at 0930 at the PRC in Santa Fe. As far as we can find out both written and oral comments will be accepted with oral public comments to be heard on the first day, October 6. The hearing is scheduled to run from October 6 through October 21 if necessary.
The details on how the hearing will be handled have not been worked out for sure. PRC has scheduled a pre-hearing conference for September 30 also at 0930. The pre-hearing conference will also be open to the public and the hearing officer will decide at that time the room and rules for making comments based on the number of people expected. I will try to keep you posted on any new developments.
The radical green group, Conservation Voters of NM, already has over 600 signatures on a petition and have begun a form letter writing campaign in opposition to the plan. New Energy Economy,another rabid green group, also has a petition with several hundred signatures. Other environmental groups are probably following suit. Since the hearing is in Santa Fe there will be a huge crowd I am sure. The enviros want more of the units closed, don’t want nuclear energy from Palo Verde used for replacement, and want the whole San Juan generating station replaced with renewable energy.
Since opposition to the plan is forming a tsunami of comment, we need some help with comments in support of PNM’s plan. I have not finalized my comments yet but have attached a draft which will give you some background. I am sure you all can come up with more and better comments but mine can be used for a spring board.
For a little more background: Modifications to San Juan were needed because the NOX emissions were .03% above EPA guidelines. NMED and PNM proposed using SNCR ( Selective Non-catalytic Reduction) to get within EPA guidelines for a cost of around $80 million. EPA ruled that Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) was available and a better and more advanced technology making it the Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART). According to EPA BART is required to be used which was SCR for a cost of nearly a billion dollars.
The problem is that the proposed “tentative” agreement relies on SNCR which is not BART (SCR). Whether or not PRC approves the plan, it is still vulnerable to environmentalist pressure on EPA to disapprove it because they want all of San Juan shut down and replaced with all wind and solar. It looks like another sue and settle opportunity for the enviros to get EPA to do their bidding.
I have also included some links to recent news articles that also explain some of the background leading up to the hearing.
If anybody has any questions, give me an e-mail.
The PRC case number is 13-00390-UT. The case number has to be included on your comments.
The address for written comments is:
New Mexico Public Regulation Commission
PO Box 1269
Santa Fe, NM 87504-1269