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No Just Transition

without Indigenous Consultation

[Senate Bill 489]
Energy Transition Act

PNM will close the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station in 2022.
SB489 is a bill currently being debated and considered in the NM legislature to address closure issues and renewable energy targets.

Read our FACT SHEET here.

Download and read the letter delivered to Governor Lujan Grisham and NM Legislators [PDF]


We ask allies to stand with Indigenous Peoples and not the Public Service Co. of New Mexico (PNM). Energy policy decisions directly and disproportionately impact our communities. Our ancestral lands in the Four Corners region was officially designated a national sacrifice zone by the Department of Energy under the Nixon administration in 1973. Since then we have experienced high levels of extraction activities including the siting of five coal plants, four coal mines, and thousands of oil and gas drill pads. Being from frontline communities, we bear the biggest impacts to our health and the devastation of our land, water, air, plants and animals. In an era of climate change we must stand united for a Just Transition that is inclusive of all Indigenous communities.  Without amendments, we do not support The Energy Transition Act (SB 489).


Supported by big Environmental Groups and PNM, SB 489 does not address the biggest concerns of impacted Indigenous communities such as:  

  • The full remediation and restoration of the impacted areas, including vital water sources that have become contaminated through these operations.

  • Support for addressing long-term health impacts from being surrounded by these power plants. Our health has suffered as a result of air, water, and land contamination with members of our communities losing years of their lives and loved ones to asthma, lung disease, heart disease, cancer, and neurological disorders. The American Lung Association estimates that 16,000 people in the region (15% of the population) suffers from lung disease probably caused by plant emissions.

  • Support for infrastructure needed to support a Just Transition: Despite providing electricity to the rest of the state for over 56 years, our people continue to go without adequate access to water, electricity and roads. A Just Energy Transition bill would address these structural inequalities to invest in the infrastructure we need to build a just economy.

  • Support for traditional economic lifeways, including farming and agriculture, that have been compromised because of contamination and investments in extractive economies that undermined these practices.

  • Consultation with Indigenous communities in all stages of decision-making.

Entities that have benefited from the extraction of natural resources and exploitation of Indigenous lands and peoples must be held accountable and contribute to the cleanup and just transition of impacted communities and economies. Based on our analysis of the bill, we have asked the large environmental groups that support this bill to address the lack of inclusion of Indigenous people by including our amendments that address our biggest concerns. Those who should be our strongest allies have dismissed our voices.


It has always been up to us to stand up for our rights
and protect our lands, waters and ecosystems!


Respect our Right to Consultation: Indigenous community members and leaders in the impacted area should be consulted in setting the energy transition policy. The United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) sets the minimum standard that must be respected, especially article 32, the right to “Free, Prior, and Informed Consent” (FPIC).


Respect our Right to Free Prior and Informed Consent: US government agencies at all levels must provide Indigenous Peoples with adequate and accessible information and allow consensus and consent to be determined in accordance with Indigenous Peoples’ customary laws and practices, free from any external manipulation or coercion. We hold our allies to this same standard as this applies to our right to full participation in setting the terms and defining the economic, societal, cultural, spiritual and environmental needs resulting from bearing the impacts of the extractive industry. Indigenous communities should have the right to explore all of the issues associated with the abandonment of the San Juan Coal Plant through an evidentiary hearing at the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission before issues are legislated.


Right to Self-Determination: Any proposals for economic transition and environmental cleanup must be led by impacted communities most affected by pollution, ecological damage, and economic restructuring.  Investments made for economic transition and recovery as well as renewable energy development should be designed to benefit communities that have historically borne the brunt of energy extraction in addition to the frontline workers impacted by the closure.  Any proposals for “green” or renewable and net-zero or carbon-free energy supplies must not include nuclear energy, carbon-marketing, or other false market solutions which have destroyed Indigenous lands and negatively impacted Indigenous communities.


We can and must do better! In the past decade, Indigenous activism has led to great victories in challenging the unjust practices of fossil fuel industries. Without Indigenous activism, the climate movement in this country would not have the strength that it has today. We found alliance in our shared concern for the earth, and future generations. But Indigenous peoples have been at this much longer and have much more at stake. We do the work because it is necessary for the survival of our lifeways and for future generations and we don’t have the luxury of compromising our concerns and priorities. Supporting this bill without our amendments is a violation of our Indigenous rights and a violation of our collective vision for a just, equitable, and sustainable future.


Our proposed amendments:

  • PNM should share in the costs associated with shutdown, as a responsible party.

  • A timeline of reclamation and decommissioning should be included in the bill to hold PNM accountable.

  • “No nuclear” should explicitly be stated in the bill.

  • Electricity and roads should be provided to communities living in close proximity to SJGS.

  • Consultation with Tribes needs to be included in the bill.

  • There should be more hearings in impacted tribal communities regarding the economic
    development plan.

  • Money should be allocated to solarize schools and chapter houses in the impacted area.

  • PNM should help fund renewable energy programs at tribal colleges.

  • Funds are needed to study contamination and actual decommissioning and reclamation costs.

  • Funds are needed for a comprehensive health study and a needs assessment.

  • Funds are needed for transmission studies to examine if the facility can be transitioned to other power sources.

  • Break up the Monopoly- Pueblos and sovereign Native Nations should be allowed to produce and sell clean energy, PNM should NOT be allowed to own all replacement power.


Join us in our struggle to be heard against SB 489!

Indigenous Peoples of the Southwest & Allies

  1. 3 Sisters Collective

  2. 4-Corners Collaborative

  3. Anhara and Andrew Lovato

  4. Anna M. Rondon, Kinya aa anii, Dine’

  5. Argumedo, Rarámuri/Chichimeca

  6. Black Mesa Water Coalition

  7. Concerned Citizens of Wagon Mound & Mora County

  8. Duane “Chili” Yazzie, President of Shiprock Chapter, Navajo Nation

  9. Diné Introspective Inc.

  10. Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy

  11. Climate Justice Alliance

  12. Council Delegate Daniel Tso (Eastern Agency-Littlewater, Pueblo Pintado, Torreon, Whitehorse Lake, Baca/Brewitt, Casamero Lake, Ojo Encino, Counselor)

  13. Dooda Fracking

  14. Donna House

  15. Earth Care

  16. Earth Ethics, Inc.

  17. Environmental Justice Health Alliance

  18. Farmworkers Association of Florida

  19. Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute

  20. Frack Free Four Corners

  21. Friends For Environmental Justice

  22. Frontera Water Protector Alliance

  23. Four Bridges Traveling Permaculture Institute

  24. Grassroots Global Justice Alliance

  25. GreenRoots Chelsea

  26. Global Justice Ecology Project

  27. Got Green

  28. Heart to Heart

  29. Honor The Earth

  30. Honor Our Pueblo Existence

  31. I-Collective

  32. Indigenous Environmental Network

  33. Indigenous Goddess Gang

  34. Janene Yazzie

  35. Jayeesha Dutta, Another Gulf Is Possible, New Orleans, LA

  36. Jemez Action Group

  37. Just Transition Alliance

  38. Kim Smith

  39. Las Vegas (NM) Peace and Justice Center

  40. La Placita Institute

  41. Leona Morgan

  42. Los Jardines Institute

  43. Native Youth Leadership Alliance

  44. National Family Farm Coalition

  45. New Energy Economy

  46. MAIDA

  47. Makai Lewis, Dine’

  48. Mary Gutierrez, Another Gulf Is Possible

  49. Movement Generation

  50. Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment

  51. Ordained Buddhist in the Order of Interbeing

  52. OVEC-Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

  53. Preston Johnson, Dine’ tribal member, NTU Student

  54. Retake Our Democracy

  55. Reyes Devore-Jemez Pueblo

  56. Sixth World Solutions

  57. SouthWest Organizing Project

  58. Southwest New Mexico Progressives

  59. Southern New Mexico Progressives

  60. Taos Progressive

  61. The Seed Keepers & Food Stewards of Taste of Native Cuisines

  62. The Red Nation

  63. Tewa Women United

  64. To Bei Nihi Dzil

  65. UNM Chicanx Studies Student Collective

  66. UPROSE




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