Fight over energy law heads to New Mexico Supreme Court

New Mexico

FILE – This Nov. 9, 2009, file photo shows the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station near Farmington, N.M. New Mexico’s new landmark energy law is facing its first legal challenge as a coalition of environmental and consumer advocacy groups filed a petition Monday, Aug. 26, 2019, with the state Supreme Court over concerns that certain provisions are unconstitutional. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Environmentalists and the state’s largest electric utility are asking the New Mexico Supreme Court to settle a dispute over whether the state’s new energy law must be considered as regulators deliberate the planned closure of a coal-fired power plant.

The groups petitioned the court Thursday to force the Public Regulation Commission to take into account the Energy Transition Act as part of the proceedings over shuttering the San Juan Generating Station.

Aside from mandating more renewable energy, the measure includes a financing mechanism that supporters say is necessary for the plant’s closure in 2022.

The law allows Public Service Co. of New Mexico and other owners of San Juan to recover investments by selling bonds that will be paid off by utility customers. The bonds will fund decommissioning costs and job training programs for displaced workers.

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