Albuquerque, NM – Latino community leaders and residents from Albuquerque and Santa Fe gathered today to deliver nearly 6,000 petition signatures to the Public Regulation Commission (PRC) in Santa Fe, commission to require power companies to deploy more clean electricity. Juntos New Mexico, a program of Conservation Voters New Mexico Education Fund and the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, delivered the signatures at a time when the state’s largest public utility, PNM, is working toward a closed-door agreement with energy stakeholders on their power plan, due to reach a final decision tomorrow, Friday, September 26.
“The Public Regulation Commission needs to understand that it isn’t wise for our state’s largest utility company to swap out two units of the dirty San Juan Generating Station with more of the same,” said Santa Fe City Councilor Joe Maestas, who spoke at the press conference in Albuquerque. “The PNM proposal to continue to heavily rely on dirty coal and nuclear energy doesn’t go far enough to fulfill their obligation to cut down on carbon pollution. It will burden customers with rising costs, thousands of gallons of precious desert water needed for coal and nuclear production, and ultimately fewer jobs for New Mexicans. It just doesn’t add up.”
“The fact that only 8% of our energy in New Mexico comes from clean energy sources is unacceptable,” added Vicente Garcia, Director of Juntos New Mexico. “An astounding 84% of Latinos in New Mexico want to require their utility to use more clean energy, and more than two thirds of respondents say that clean energy will increase jobs, reduce pollution and improve public health. For us — this is personal. As Latinos, we inherently care about the air we breathe and the water we drink.”
Latinos represent 47.3% of the population of New Mexico. Garcia and Councilor Maestas were joined by volunteers and organizers who helped collect the signatures, including families from Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The volunteers held a large banner asking the Commissioners: “Do you support clean air and healthy families?” and carried large boxes labeled “special delivery” to each of the Commissioners’ offices. Juntos New Mexico will continue to gather signatures, and to engage the Latino community to speak out on this issue.
“I was born and raised in New Mexico, just like my parents and grandparents,” concluded Amanda Gallegos, a 16-year-old youth volunteer who spoke in front of the media. “We have a moral obligation to ensure our communities have safe air and clean water, and can lead healthy and productive lives. To continue to rely on dirty power sources is simply the wrong thing to do for us as Latinos and as New Mexicans.”
Contact: Liliana Castillo 505-992-8683 or firstname.lastname@example.org