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This weekend, the bill advances with a 5-3 vote in the New Mexico conservation committee.


Ahéhee (Thank you) for standing with us- calling for amendments that include consultation with  impacted indigenous communities, for calling to break up PNM's monopoly,  close the door on further investment in gas and nuclear, and require corporate accountability. 

The bill goes before a second committee & from there it will be determined whether it goes before another committee or to the House or Senate floor for a vote. 

Meanwhile.. in Farmington & Acme equities LLC, a New York based private holding company that focuses on North American energy assets, signed an agreement to continue operating the San Juan Generating Station. The parties are finalizing the details of their agreement and will begin negotiations with other owners to transfer their interests in the stations. SB 489 does NOT close the plant. PNM would receive their $320 million windfall from SB 489 & the San Juan Generating Station  could continue operations. It's ironic & sad that both the bill's advancements & this news of the potential continuation of the plant transpired on the same day. 

We must work together to ensure that the San Juan Generating Station is CLOSED and that we have a bill that truly promotes and Just and equitable transition. 



Lawrence Heller of Acme Equities, left, and City Manager Rob Mayes, right, sign an agreement that will allow Farmington to keep the San Juan Generating Station open after 2022. (Photo11: City of Farmington)


CLICK HERE to read the Farmington Daily Times Article


We are energized by the effort of the numerous parties that have worked together to create meaningful steps for diversifying the energy portfolio of the state of New Mexico and the commitment of our newly elected leaders to take Climate Change seriously and to improve relationships with the states Indigenous Peoples to promote sovereignty and self-determination of the tribes.

In solidarity,

Concerned Indigenous Peoples 


Proposed Amendments of Concerned Indigenous Peoples

February 27, 2019


We are energized by the effort of the numerous parties that have worked together to create meaningful steps for diversifying the energy portfolio of the state of New Mexico and the commitment of our newly elected leaders to take Climate Change seriously and to improve relationships with the states Indigenous Peoples to promote sovereignty and self-determination of the tribes.


However, we remain concerned that several major issues identified by a coalition of Indigenous leaders, community advocates, organizations, and impacted community members are going unaddressed and that there is important language missing to respect and uphold the rights of Indigenous Peoples in impacted communities.

SB 489 was developed with, and is largely supported by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, who on January 29. 2019 signed an executive order on climate change (E.O 2019-003) joining 18 US states in a commitment to the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement as one of her first acts of office. To meet these ambitious goals an effective Energy Transition Act is vital.

The Paris Agreement recognizes the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the valuable role of Indigenous Peoples and local communities with the passage of the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform at the Conference of the Parties (COP) 24. The international recognition of the rights and roles of Indigenous Peoples has led to growing commitments to center the rights of Indigenous Peoples in building mitigation and adaptation strategies which include: pursuing increased investment in renewable energy development; addressing environmental contamination; identifying appropriate priorities and strategies for equitable social, economic and cultural development; and land restoration and water restoration and conservation practices that utilize traditional ecological knowledge systems.


We present these amendments on behalf of our coalition. We do so having reviewed amendments that have been made and approved on Friday, February 22, 2019, concluding that they do not adequately address deficiencies with SB 489 as it relates to the rights and needs of impacted Indigenous Peoples.


We propose the following to remedy the situation, to ensure that SB489 will be the effective and meaningful legislation necessary to ensure that Indigenous Peoples do not get left behind and will be active participants in the development of a truly just and equitable energy transition.


PROPOSED AMENDMENTS

Section 2 “Definitions” add section “U” as follows:

(U) “Tribal Consultation” means a process of ensuring inclusive participation, with decision-making authority, of Indigenous Peoples from impacted communities in all discussions, planning, assessments, or other activities impacting their lands, territories or other resources, so as to

(a) allow for the determination and inclusion of their own priorities and strategies for the development in all decisions,

(b) respect for the unique institutions, processes, traditional laws, cultural protocols, practices and customs of the impacted Indigenous communities

(c) identify the needs of the constituencies of the impacted tribal governments and Indigenous communities

(d) obtain the free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands, water, air, or territories and other resources, including the development of health, housing, and other economic and social programs affecting them.

(e) to respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples, for which the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples serves as the minimum standard.

Section 16 (c) “ENERGY TRANSITION ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE FUND--ENERGY TRANSITION DISPLACED WORKER ASSISTANCE FUND.—" add language as follows:

          C. The economic development department shall develop an economic diversification and development plan to assist the affected community that shall provide for the disbursement of money in the energy transition economic development assistance fund. In developing the plan, the economic development department shall establish a public planning process [and tribal consultation process] in the affected community to inform the use of money in the fund. The public planning process shall include at least three public meetings in the affected community [and any additional measures determined through the tribal consultation process]. Expenditures from the fund shall be made after completion of the plan and as follows:

And,

          F. The workforce solutions department shall develop a displaced worker development plan to assist displaced workers in an affected community that shall provide for the disbursement of money in the energy transition displaced worker assistance fund. In developing the plan, the workforce solutions department shall establish a public planning process [, and tribal consultation process] in the affected community to inform the use of money in the fund. The public planning process shall include at least three public meetings in the affected community [and any additional measures determined through the tribal consultation process]. Expenditures from the fund shall be made after completion of the plan and as follows:

We also request to amend SB 489 through the addition of an additional section, working with bill drafters and sponsors, to include:

X. The “health and needs assessment fund” " is created in the state treasury. The fund shall consist of appropriations, gifts, grants, donations and bequests made to the fund. Income from the fund shall be credited to the fund, and money in the fund shall not revert or be transferred to any other fund at the end of a fiscal year.

XX. The _____________________________________ shall administer the health and needs assessment fund, and money in the fund is subject to appropriation by the legislature only to that department to assist in the development of a health and needs assessment in impacted communities necessary for establishing baseline indicators and identifying and tracking health, cultural, and other impacts related to the impacts of the fossil fuel industry.


OTHER CONCERNS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES TRACKING SB 489

Due to different readings and interpretations regarding the existence of a “Cap” on money spent for reclamation, section 2 (H) language needs to be clarified to avoid any litigation regarding the interpretation of the Cap to mean imposing a limit that keeps public utilities from investing the full amount necessary for decommissioning and full mine reclamation.

Due to concern regarding language seeming to indicate PNM will retain a monopoly on the sourcing and purchasing of replacement energy, section 3 language regarding replacement resources, needs be clarified to avoid any interpretation that prevents, or creates barriers for tribal-owned enterprises to develop renewable energy resources for competitive procurement. We offer the following amendments:

SECTION 3. [NEW MATERIAL] LOCATION OF RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AFTER ABANDONMENT--

(change subsection): F. As used in this section, "replacement resources" means up to four hundred fifty megawatts of nameplate capacity identified by the qualifying utility as replacement for a qualifying generating facility, and may include energy storage capacity; provided that such resources are located in the school district, [or impacted tribal community] in New Mexico where the abandoned facility is located, are necessary to maintain reliable service and are in the public interest as determined by the commission.

(change subsection) G. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as precluding tribally-owned sources of replacement power from competitive procurement.

Due to concerns about the interpretation of Zero-Carbon resource and resource standards possibly including nuclear energy, tribal communities impacted by the legacy of uranium mining and nuclear waste, we offer the following amendments:

SECTION 28. Section 62-16-3 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2004, Chapter 65, Section 3, as amended) is amended to read:

     "62-16-3. DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Renewable Energy Act:

Change subsection: H. "renewable energy resource" means the following energy resources, with or without energy storage:

                (1) solar, wind and geothermal;

                (2) hydropower facilities brought in service on or after July 1, 2007;

                (3) biomass resources, limited to agriculture or animal waste, small diameter timber, not to exceed eight inches, salt cedar and other phreatophyte or woody vegetation removed from river basins or watersheds in New Mexico; provided that these resources are from facilities certified by the energy, minerals and natural resources department to:

                     (a) be of appropriate scale to have sustainable feedstock in the near vicinity;

                     (b) have zero life cycle carbon emissions; and

                     (c) meet scientifically determined restoration, sustainability and soil nutrient principles;

                (4) fuel cells that do not use fossil fuels [or nuclear energy] to create electricity; and

Change subsection K. "zero carbon resource" means an electricity generation resource that emits no carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as a result of electricity production [not including nuclear energy]; and

Change subsection L. "zero carbon resource standard" means providing New Mexico public utility customers with electricity generated from one hundred percent zero carbon resources [not including nuclear energy].

The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, relevant articles:

Article 21 1. Indigenous peoples have the right, without discrimination, to the improvement of their economic and social conditions, including, inter alia, in the areas of education, employment, vocational training and retraining, housing, sanitation, health and social security. 2. States shall take effective measures and, where appropriate, special measures to ensure continuing improvement of their economic and social conditions. Particular attention shall be paid to the rights and special needs of indigenous elders, women, youth, children and persons with disabilities.

Article 23 Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for exercising their right to development. In particular, indigenous peoples have the right to be actively involved in developing and determining health, housing and other economic and social programmes affecting them and, as far as possible, to administer such programmes through their own institutions.

Article 26 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired. 2. Indigenous peoples have the right to own, use, develop and control the lands, territories and resources that they possess by reason of traditional ownership or other traditional occupation or use, as well as those which they have otherwise acquired. 3. States shall give legal recognition and protection to these lands, territories and resources. Such recognition shall be conducted with due respect to the customs, traditions and land tenure systems of the indigenous peoples concerned.

Article 27 States shall establish and implement, in conjunction with indigenous peoples concerned, a fair, independent, impartial, open and transparent process, giving due recognition to indigenous peoples’ laws, traditions, customs and land tenure systems, to recognize and adjudicate the rights of indigenous peoples pertaining to their lands, territories and resources, including those which were traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used. Indigenous peoples shall have the right to participate in this process.

Article 29 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to the conservation and protection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands or territories and resources. States shall establish and implement assistance programmes for indigenous peoples for such conservation and protection, without discrimination. 2. States shall take effective measures to ensure that no storage or disposal of hazardous materials shall take place in the lands or territories of indigenous peoples without their free, prior and informed consent. 3. States shall also take effective measures to ensure, as needed, that programmes for monitoring, maintaining and restoring the health of indigenous peoples, as developed and implemented by the peoples affected by such materials, are duly implemented.

Article 32 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine and develop priorities and strategies for the development or use of their lands or territories and other resources. 2. States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources. 3. States shall provide effective mechanisms for just and fair redress for any such activities, and appropriate measures shall be taken to mitigate adverse environmental, economic, social, cultural or spiritual impact.

Article 33 1. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine their own identity or membership in accordance with their customs and traditions. This does not impair the right of indigenous individuals to obtain citizenship of the States in which they live. 2. Indigenous peoples have the right to determine the structures and to select the membership of their institutions in accordance with their own procedures.

Article 38 States in consultation and cooperation with indigenous peoples, shall take the appropriate measures, including legislative measures, to achieve the ends of this Declaration.

Article 40 Indigenous peoples have the right to access to and prompt decision through just and fair procedures for the resolution of conflicts and disputes with States or other parties, as well as to effective remedies for all infringements of their individual and collective rights. Such a decision shall give due consideration to the customs, traditions, rules and legal systems of the indigenous peoples concerned and international human rights.


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