If you care about the safety of your families, the children of Rio Rancho and the workers in the area, please join me in speaking out against NM Gas Company’s proposed $180 million Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant.

It is genuinely perplexing to consider the decision by NM Gas Company to site a plant within a mere five-mile radius of an airport, eight schools, residential neighborhoods, countless businesses, a housing shelter and a cultural heritage site.

New Mexico ranks second in the nation for wildfire occurrences. For nearly every summer of my life, our skies have been shrouded in gray, and the air has been tainted with the acrid scent of smoke due to the land ablaze. LNG is exceptionally flammable, with even the slightest spark of static electricity capable of triggering an ignition. In a state with a naturally high temperature, the placement of a temperature-sensitive and highly combustible gas in such close proximity to our communities raises critical safety concerns.

The plant’s proposed location means exposing our youth in dozens of public schools to worse air quality — pollutants like carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and methane. This exposure can lead to skin, eye, nose and lung irritation as well as frequent headaches, coughing, dizziness and other respiratory illnesses. Imagine the impact on a student’s ability to learn if they are repeatedly sent home or to the nurse’s office due to persistent health issues. My little sister, who has asthma, lives nearby. The construction of an LNG plant will have direct and detrimental effect on her and other youth in our community. It is our duty to protect these vulnerable members of our society.

Ultimately, our collective objective should be safeguarding the well-being of our citizens and residents, rather than solely pursuing financial gains from the oil and gas industry at the expense of our lives and our future. Why would we be investing in more fossil fuel infrastructure when we desperately need to transition to alternative, sustainable and renewable sources of energy? In addition to the immediate harms posed to our communities near the plant, this project will mean a continued reliance on fossil fuels — or stranded investments that will cost ratepayers well into the future.

The NM Public Regulation Commission will decide whether to approve the project.

Stand with me and Youth United for Climate Crisis Action (YUCCA) and say no … (by contacting) Patrick Rodriguez via email at [email protected] or by phone at (505) 490-7910. The email subject should say “Docket No. 22-00309-UT: NM Gas Co. LNG Facility – Public Comment Hearing.”

Destiny Ray

Rio Rancho