Commentary: Attorney and environmental justice champion Mariel Nanasi’s presentation “At the Energy Crossroads” will open the April meeting of Indivisible LAS CRUCES. Nanasi has served as lead attorney in legal interventions before the Public Regulations Commission and the New Mexico Supreme Court. The meeting will held Tuesday, April 10 at 11:00 a.m. at Thomas Branigan Memorial Library, Las Cruces.
Nanasi has long worked to end environmental damage from the extraction industries in the Four Corners area. She says Native American communities suffer the most environmental and economic harm. Her recent work on the PNM case, resulted in PNM’s agreement to close the coal fired generation station in San Juan County. PNM is the state’s largest electricity provider. Her talk will address the options for replacing the lost power when the station closes in 2022. “It will be a great opportunity to fundamentally reshape our state’s economic and environmental future,” she says.
That future, she says, will be determined by a choice between two visions. One vision involves extractive energy and is controlled by a centralized energy system. In the second vision, energy is renewable and local with decentralized ownership such as community solar.
The New Mexico Public Regulations Commission will be the focus of the second half of the meeting. The PRC is the state agency that supervises the utilities, telecommunications and motor carrier industries. State Representative Angelica Rubio, who sits on the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee, will be session moderator. She represents Dona Ana County House District 35 in the state legislature. The two participating candidates for the PRC District 5 seat are incumbent Sandy Jones and former State Senator Steve Fischmann.
Meetings of Indivisible LAS CRUCES are free and open to the public.