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Comments on EPA 111 (d)

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614 Don Gaspar Avenue
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Email: comments@nmelectric.coop

August 30, 2014 8:11 AM

Dear Mr Groenewold:

I am very disturbed to read your comment in the September 2014 issue of Enchantment. Asking your members to speak against EPA regulations that are put in place to protect the world and our grandchildren is not right in my book. Instead, we have to all pull together to find ways to protect our quickly deteriorating world. In my case, putting in solar panels at our house was our way to make a difference - and the cost is not small. But if we don't take this seriously and look to the future instead of protecting the little bit of turf we have, we hurt everyone. Please don't use your position to take us all backwards.

Anne Salzmann

August 30, 2014 9:45 AM

Dear Mr. Groenewold,

Concerning your "View from enchantment" article in the September issue:
The clearest sign of a biased statement of opinion is that it considers only one argument, the one in favor of the author's position, and dismisses summarily any other argument. A naive reader would think that the "regulations" on power plants that you mention are merely bureaucratic impositions designed to make life tough for working people. Probably written by "liberals" who want to establish one socialist world government and take away our guns.

You don't point out that the EPA's proposed regulations are aimed at cleaning the air breathed, and the water drunk, by you, your children, and your grandchildren. You don't point out that that 30-year-old coal-burning power plant to which you refer, and a host of other 30-year-old power plants, were built with little regard for the harm they do to the atmosphere, the soil, the water, and the humans and animals that live from these natural resources. If you did, you'd have to acknowledge taking this position: that the future of our planet is of less importance than any perceived monetary cost. That any measure aimed at undoing the disastrous, and increasing, harm we have done to our civilization by using our air, water, and soil as a dump for exhaust gases and toxins from mining, refining, and burning fossil fuels should be rejected if it appears that it might increase household energy costs.

Do you adopt this position, Mr. Groenewold?

Jim Nelson

August 30, 2014 1:08 PM

In NM we are blessed with an abundance of sun and wind. Co-op members can not afford to not wake up to the demands of the environment. Spend your energy getting on the renewable resources band wagon or step aside. What we and the earth cannot afford is to continue on with present day "rape the earth" attitudes. Sun and wind are free. Co-op consumers can not afford not to support the environment!

Bonnie Downs

August 30, 2014 4:26 PM

Mr. Groenewold:

I am not sure I was successful when I attempted to express my negative reaction to the new EPA regulations you discussed in your recent article which appeared in the latest edition of ENCHANTMENT.

When I noted my position in opposition to the proposed regulation in my visit to the www.Action.coop website, I could not determine whether or not I was actually able to send my message. I could not find anywhere on the website a method to submit my opinion. Usually I am able to find a place on a site to "submit" a note. Can you tell me how I can learn whether or not my message was received?

I await your reply,
Maurice Tobyas

August 31, 2014 1:00 PM

Dear Mr Groenewold:

Your call to co-op customers this month struck me as curious to say the least asking subscribers to object to E.P.A.'s new restrictions after all, how are we to encourage and support the increased production of green-clean energy if we're not willing to pay some extra for such improvements? And, is your plea to imply that such improvements would eventually happen by themselves with no extra costs to consumers? It is as if what you ask us to do is contribute another sop to big coal industries' campaign boosting "clean coal."

Wesley Rusnell

August 31, 2014 4:58 PM

Dear Fellow Co-op Members,

Mr. Keven J. Groenewold, the General Manager of the NM Rural Electric Cooperative Association has recently written in the Enchantment magazine (Sept 2014), asking us to take action and send comments to the EPA. According to Mr. Groenewold, the EPA has "drafted a regulation that adversely and disproportionately affects electric cooperatives" and that this EPA regulation "could endanger this independent supply of affordable electric power." Mr. Groenewold does not provide the contents of this regulation - Section 111(d) - to back up his claims, nor does he tell us what existing part of the Co-op portfolio would be affected.

Section 111, 42 U.S.C. §7411, of the Clean Air Act requires EPA to develop regulations for categories of sources which cause or significantly contribute to air pollution which may endanger public health or welfare. Section 111(d) of the Act requires states to develop plans for existing sources of noncriteria pollutants (i.e., a pollutant for which there is no national ambient air quality standard). These are called Section 111(d) plans. These plans are to be created by the states (in our case, New Mexico) and are subject to EPA review and approval.

Thus, the regulation is meant to address greenhouse gas emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units, so this regulation is aimed at the Co-op's 30-year old coal-fired generating plant(s) that are among the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. A great deal of effort has gone into cost-benefit analyses for this regulation. Many electric utilities have already switched to less polluting - and, in some cases, no more expensive - technologies, such as natural gas, wind and solar. Mr. Groenewold needs to explain why electric coops will suffer so much (in his estimation) under this new regulation. Perhaps he (and Tri-State Power, who supplies the Co-op with power) simply do not want to clean up (or replace) an aging, 30-year coal-fired plant. His arguments seem more like scare tactics designed by the coal industry than they do well thought out economic arguments. Burning coal is unhealthy for Americans and for the planet. I, for one, am not convinced that Co-op members will see more expensive electricity as a result of this regulation and think we deserve to have less biased arguments presented by the managers of our Co-op.

Dr. Robert Dello-Russon
San Antonio, NM

September 1, 2014 7:57 AM

Greetings Keven:

You won't remember me, but we met several years ago at an annual Mora-San Miguel Co-op meeting. I respect your long service and professional dedication to NM co-ops.

However, rather than accept a broadside "not good for us" approach as was conveyed in your "view" letter in the Sept. 2014 issue of Enchantment, I would very much appreciate a guide into the negative aspects of the EPA proposal from the EPA's site, and a summary of the Co-ops balanced approach you referred to.

I am involved in many aspects of pro/con advocacies and would like to participate in this matter with more details.

Thanks very much,
Don Bennett
Rociada, NM

September 1, 2014 8:36 AM

Hello, Mr. Groenewold:

I have been disappointed to see the propaganda posters about coal power at our office south of Gallup, NM. I was disappointed to read your article encouraging people to take action AGAINST sound legislation.

Building coal plants to supply power for our cooperative shows short sighted leadership. Wind and solar are not just future any more, but the present!

As I drove across the country this summer I saw wind farms all across the landscape and wondered why we have built more coal plants in the 21st century. It's time to let go and move on. Wind and solar power provide jobs, too, and any leader with vision will see that these are the jobs worth training for right now.

Let's cut our losses and move forward! Stop covering for poor planning, Mr. Groenewold. If prices go up for our power, it's on you and the other leaders of our cooperative you are trying to protect.


September 1, 2014 10:00 AM

It is time people understood the impact of the cheap, dirty energy that has been enjoyed for decades. The new EPA regulations will clean up old, inefficient energy plants and spur innovation, and jobs, in the renewable energy industry. Higher utility prices will inevitably spur more use of renewable energy. We went solar 19 months ago and have only paid a monthly meter charge since then. With the tax credits our system will be paid for in six or seven years. And, we have kept nearly 20 tons of carbon from the atmosphere. There are options available to finance with little or no upfront costs. New Mexico Electric Cooperative should be encouraging this type of action rather than fighting cleaner air and continuing on the path that has caused global warming.

D.C. McNeilly
Edgewood, NM

September 1, 2014 11:36 AM

Thank you for your continued articles about federal regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions from existing as well as new power plants. Your articles argue that these regulations will cost jobs, increase the price of goods and services as well as residential electricity bills. Well, so be it. The alternative is climate change, threat to our food supply, increased intensity of storms, and potentially mass starvation and population relocation. We cannot continue to use the atmosphere as a dumping ground for waste that will ultimately challenge the viability of our species.

Your articles helped me locate the right place to make official comments in wholehearted support of the proposed regulations. Instead of spending so much time and energy trying to fight them, you would do well to put that energy into educating consumers how to use energy more efficiently, and invest in alternative sources.

Come on, get with the program. You can't hang your hat on bad science forever.

Mike Dugger

September 1, 2014 5:45 PM

I am a member of the NM Rural Electric Cooperative and totally support EPA's regulations regarding coal fired power plants i.e. dirty energy, and would gladly pay double or even triple for my electricity to combat global warming. If anything, I wish the rules were more stringent. The fact that big energy (coal, oil and gas) oppose clean energy aggressively is outrageous. The environmental cost of your ill conceived campaign is too much. Yes, let's pay more!

The fact that you think many of your customers so stupid they can be so easily manipulated by your propaganda is sad. None the less there are thousand of us in this state who care more about clean energy than cheaper electricity. In fact, we in Torrance County oppose the proposed Co2 pipeline Kinder Morgan plans as the company brags that the little tax revenue and few short term jobs are going to mitigate the environmental destruction.

The sooner my coop invests more of our energy dollars in solar and wind technologies, the better off NM will be. I note the despite the fact that NM is a big energy state, the citizens do not enjoy the benefits and the state remains on the bottom of country economically.

Can I afford to pay much more, probably not, but I am willing to sacrifice for the benefit of my friends and neighbors.


Kathleen Davies
Mountainair, NM

September 2, 2014 8:34 AM

Dear editors of enchantment,

Please discontinue the attacks on EPA regulation in your publication, particularly as they are political and make the assumption that they speak for all co-op members. These appeals do not speak on my behalf, nor on the behalf of many, many co-op members who recognize that we have a climate crisis on our hands. I will not be threatened by a few more pennies on my electric bill, particularly if the increase is going toward curbing the environmental harm caused by power plants.

On another note, please reconsider your misguided decision to display advertising for assault weapons and automatic rifles. I truly hope it will not take another tragedy at a New Mexico school for you to see how offensive and inappropriate it is.


R. Kirkpatrick
Española Valley

September 3, 2014 10:01 AM

To Whom It May Concern,

I recently received the September 2014 "Enchantment" and was surprised to see the one-sided political commentary from Mr. Groenwold, the general manager of the NM Rural Electric Cooperative Assoc.

Groenwold gives NO details concerning the regulations, but he tells people to complain to the EPA regarding these regulations. Should people argue in favor of something they know little or nothing about? With the slow destruction of the air that we breathe and the land that we live on Groenwold asks us not to just stick our heads into the sand, but to make an effort to make matters worse.

"Fracking" is an example of corporations run amok. With time 100% of all natural gas wells will leak; 50% of natural gas wells will leak within 30 years, while 5% of the new ones leak. Escaping methane is perhaps the quickest way to increase global warming. We are polluting the air in exchange for "energy independence". And the aquifers intersected by the fracking wells..... color the aquifers gone.

Another example is the lack of fines imposed on oil/gas producers in NM. When was the last time a company in NM was fined for an oilfield spill? Decades ago!

Money/greed is the driving force behind most pollution. It profits a relative few while allowing conveniences for the many. Goenwold's "view" makes it obvious that his pocketbook, his job, is more important than his planet. We should be implementing pollution controls, not accepting more pollution. Some New Mexicans have a future (called children) and coops should not be exempt from pollution regulations.

We have one planet. Regulating pollution is the necessarily smart and moral thing to do.

Pat Haynes, Geologist

September 5, 2014 1:52 PM

Dear Keven,

Next time you send us a call to action you might consider adding some information, other than just scare words, to the article. 3 or more bulleted points on the deal would have informed and motivated as a call to action. Thank you for your consideration.

Raymond A. Mendez

September 14, 2014 8:19 PM

Good job appealing to our emotions Kevin, however no comment was made as to what these proposed EPA Reg.'s are. I'll email yea or nea when I find out what they are. How about telling your members details instead of how to vote.

James Pratt, Kit Carson Co-op member for 35 years.

September 12, 2014 10:34 PM

Mr. Groenewold,

I am a member of Mora San Miguel Electric Coop Inc. I read with interest your View on the new EPA regulations. While I am like all of my neighbors in that I do not want any of the costs in my life to go up, I realize that if we are going to start the work of mitigating the effects of human caused climate change we must start now. The longer we wait, the higher the costs will be, and I am not just referring to my electric bill. You have inspired me to contact the EPA by phone to let them know that your editorial spurred me into countering the short sighted view you are taking.

Please remember there is much more to life than cheap electricity.

Leslie Hammel-Turk

September 17, 2014 4:47 PM

Mr. Groenewold,

How would you address the pollution and subsequent damage to the planet from outdated power plants? Your article offers no solutions, only criticisms. It is ironic that you lament the "impact these regulations have on the people at the end of the power lines....". What consideration to you give to the impact of climate change on us all?

Dr. Suzanne Schmidt