Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

New Mexico's Largest Utility Will Stop Burning Coal, Despite Trump's Clean Power Plan Rollback

Energy
New Mexico's Largest Utility Will Stop Burning Coal, Despite Trump's Clean Power Plan Rollback

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt announced Monday that the Trump administration is rolling back the Clean Power Plan to end the previous administration's "war on coal" but there's a big problem: Obama didn't kill the coal industry—the market for cheap natural gas and increasingly affordable renewable energy did.

Case in point, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that New Mexico's largest utility still plans to phase out coal as a power source in 2031. The Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) currently uses coal for 56 percent of its energy generation but wants drop use to 12 percent by 2025.


"The actions we have planned represent the most cost-effective ways to serve our customers with reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible energy," Ray Sandoval, a company spokesman, explained to the publication.

In April, Pat Vincent-Collawn, CEO of PNM Resources, said moving toward renewables and natural gas is "the best, most economical path to a strong energy future for New Mexico."

PNM intends to stick with the Obama-era regulation even though it specifically targeted emissions from the nation's coal-burning power plants.

Pruitt argues that the 2015 climate policy overstepped federal law by setting emissions standards that power plants could not reasonably meet.

But PNM's move is part of a larger trend of utilities around the country that are turning away from coal. According to The Santa Fe New Mexican, "In April, a survey by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis found that 46 coal-burning units at 25 power plants across 16 states will close or significantly reduce production by 2018."

PNM isn't alone in sticking with the Clean Power Plan. Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group also plans reduce carbon dioxide emissions to the levels set by Obama regulation despite Trump's plans to nix it.

"This is much more driven by fundamental economics as opposed to what is or isn't going on in Washington," president and CEO Allen Leverett told shareholders five months ago.

Jeremy Nichols, climate and energy director at WildEarth Guardians, further commented that "things are moving away from coal, Clean Power Plan or not. Nowhere is that more evident than New Mexico."

A report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance projects that about two-thirds of coal-fired plants to close by 2040, while gas-fired electricity is seen to rise by 22 percent and renewables could jump by a stunning 169 percent.

Marilyn Angel Wynn / Getty Images

By Christina Gish Hill

Historians know that turkey and corn were part of the first Thanksgiving, when Wampanoag peoples shared a harvest meal with the pilgrims of Plymouth plantation in Massachusetts. And traditional Native American farming practices tell us that squash and beans likely were part of that 1621 dinner too.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Former U.S. Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz listens during the National Clean Energy Summit 9.0 on October 13, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Isaac Brekken / Getty Images for National Clean Energy Summit

By Jake Johnson

Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Climate change can evoke intense feelings, but a conversational approach can help. Reed Kaestner / Getty Images

Anger, anxiety, overwhelm … climate change can evoke intense feelings.


Read More Show Less
A rare North Atlantic right whale is seen off Cape Cod Bay on April 14, 2019 near Provincetown, Massachusetts. Don Emmert / AFP / Getty Images

An extremely rare North Atlantic right whale calf was found dead off the North Carolina coast on Friday.

Read More Show Less
Sprinklers irrigate a field of onions near a Castilian village in Spain. According to a new study, the average farm size in the EU has almost doubled since the 1960s. miguelangelortega / Moment / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

A new report released Tuesday details the "shocking" state of global land equality, saying the problem is worse than thought, rising, and "cannot be ignored."

Read More Show Less