The U.S. Office of Surface Mining is conducting a comprehensive environmental review of the San Juan coal mine, which fuels the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station. Located in the Greater Chaco region of northwestern New Mexico, the San Juan mine and power plant are responsible for millions of tons of toxic climate and air pollution, water contamination in the San Juan River, and gross economic injustices.
WildEarth Guardians’ secured the review as part of a legal challenge to the Office of Surface Mining’s approval of expanded coal mining at San Juan with no public notice or disclosure of health and environmental impacts.
This review provides an unprecedented opportunity for Americans to demand a brighter future for the Greater Chaco region and even the broader American Southwest. Just recently, the primary owner of the San Juan Generating Station, Public Service Company of New Mexico (aka PNM) announced that operating the power plant beyond 2022 is not economically viable.
The announcement comes as other power plants in the Four Corners region are also on their way out. As we pointed out, coal in the American Southwest is truly a “dead man walking.”
Now is our chance to speak out for a transition away from coal.
The Office of Surface Mining is holding a series of public hearings next week, from April 10-14 in New Mexico and Colorado. Among the locations are Towaoc on the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation and Shiprock on the Navajo Nation. If you can, attend a hearing, show up in person and tell the the agency that transition away from coal must be the goal of its review.
Tell the federal government that it’s time to move the Greater Chaco region away from coal, that it’s time to put an end to widespread pollution, and that it’s time to help the Four Corners move toward more sustainable and prosperous economies.
Stay tuned for more from WildEarth Guardians.