The undersigned organizations are writing to urge the U.S. Department of the Interior (“Interior”) and Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (“OSMRE”) to make transition from coal a number one priority at New Mexico’s San Juan coal mine.
Interior and OSMRE are in the process of preparing an environmental impact statement to analyze and disclose the potentially significant impacts of coal mining at the San Juan mine, as well as to consider a range of reasonable alternatives for future action. We strongly urge the agencies to ensure that transition is the preferred alternative.
The San Juan coal mine fuels the San Juan Generating Station, a power plant that has saddled the Four Corners region with enormous amounts of air, climate, and water pollution. While the mine and power plant may have provided jobs over the years, both are slated to shut down in the early 2020’s. What’s more, other coal-fired power plants and mines in the region are similarly on course to retire in the near-future, including the Navajo coal mine and Four Corners power plant and the Kayenta and Black Mesa coal mines and the Navajo Generating Station.
Interior and OSMRE must play a role in ensuring the orderly clean-up of coal mines and power plants in the region;