Our Public Regulation Commission ordered NM Gas Company (NMGC) to evaluate potential measures to prevent extraordinary gas price spikes or delivery cuts to customers. NMGC’s response is to build a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant for $180 million, reinvesting in the fossil fuel model that is endangering all of us; reinforcing Rita Mae Brown’s adage that “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

The LNG risks are just not worth it:

• Danger from ignition of leaking gas and explosions.

• Proposed LNG tanker trucks will endanger drivers and communities throughout N.M.

• Continued contribution to the increase of carbon dioxide and methane emissions, further exacerbating existing air quality.

• Proposed site lies within three miles of Double Eagle Airport, Volcano Vista High School, Petroglyph National Monument, and three major neighborhoods — making thousands of residents and students vulnerable to a catastrophe.

• Funded for at least 30 years by us, the ratepayers.

• This fossil fuel investment will slow the adoption of renewable alternatives and ultimately turn into stranded assets.

New Mexicans be warned: Methane routinely leaks from gas operations and is a powerful greenhouse gas, trapping 86 times more heat than CO2 over 20 years. Why would anyone go for this boondoggle right in our backyards?

Despite the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stating this February that further delay in cutting fossil fuel use would mean missing our last chance “to secure a liveable and sustainable future for all,” the lure of colossal payouts in the coming years appears to be irresistible to oil companies. It also appears that mainstream media chooses to ignore the

UN Secretary General António Guterres’ recent warnings to world leaders: “Our addiction to fossil fuels is killing us; it’s moral and economic madness.”

NMGC is owned by its parent company, Emera, a Canadian energy conglomerate that touts its “Climate Commitment” at the same time it is pushing to develop its LNG plant here. Emera’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Block Energy, boasts its “dedicated and nimble team focuses on developing new ways to deliver renewable energy to customers by capitalizing on the disruptive challenges and innovation opportunities in today’s energy industry.” It sounds like Emera’s NMGC and Block Energy are playing both ends against the middle in our climate change challenge. Emera and NMGC should instead pivot to a business model that provides critical energy and heating to New Mexico families with innovative clean energy, battery storage and conservation solutions.

It’s time for NM ratepayers to sound the battle cry, “No more fossil fuels! We’re tired of coming in next-to-last on most national demographics!” Let’s demand that our utilities look ahead instead of doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. Imagine that we reject the status quo call for the LNG facility and choose the option to transition quickly to electrification, safeguarding water at the same time, and becoming a model in the Southwest for developing our vast renewable resources. All it takes to reach these goals is political will. Write your local and state representatives, governor and our national delegation underscoring they work to ensure a safe and healthy future. Let’s put NM on the map as a new energy leader for positive and progressive change that will make a difference for generations to come.

Lisa Silva

Cochiti Lake