Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly addressed New Mexico’s Public Regulation Commission Monday on the first day of two weeks of hearings on PNM's energy replacement plan.
Shelly told commissioners he supports PNM’s plan for replacing energy that will be lost when two coal-fired stacks at the San Juan Generating Station are shut down. He said the plan would ensure good jobs for tribal members.
PNM's plan calls for bringing more nuclear energy onto the grid, increasing shares in coal and building a new natural gas plant in the four-corners region.
Solar energy would account for four percent of the total, but Diné grassroots activist Norman Patrick-Brown said that’s simply not enough. He cited the health impacts of non-renewable energy sources.
"Of course, we are in dire need of jobs,” Patrick-Brown explained, “but there are deadly particulates that cover the air and people are tired of sicknesses."
The hearings will continue in Santa Fe through January 16th.