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Submitted by Daniel Pritchard and William Brown

This letter is provided as opinion/commentary from the author. You can submit your own letter to editor@abq.news

Is this really a good idea? Giving $14.5 million dollars to the “New Mexico” Gas Company (wholly-owned by Emera of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada) so they can build a poison-gas Methane pipeline into Peñasco to service at most 300-400 customers? (That’s more residences than the US Census Bureau estimates, by the way.)  

If you do the math, that’s over $36,000 for each (potential) gas customer. Never mind that many households also traditionally heat with fuel wood. What could you do instead with $36K per household? Imagine extra insulation in homes and businesses, good air-tight windows, clean heat pumps, add utility-scale battery storage and another array at Picuris Pueblo, and creating a resilient micro-grid for the entire valley. And while doing all this good, not burning any poison Methane (also called “natural” gas) in the process. 

Methane prices are volatile (no pun intended), and fluctuate wildly around events like the Russian invasion. The Taos News comment that a methane gas line will “directly benefit” local residents is a standard throwaway line that most unsuspecting people will believe. 

Should we really spend $14.5 million to burn more fossil fuels instead of preparing beautiful Peñasco and Picuris for a clean, renewable future?    

Daniel Pritchard is a member of the Executive Board of Renewable Taos. William Brown is with the Northern NM Chapter of the Climate Reality Project. They both live in Taos County.