Currently in the San Juan Basin, there are shale gas proposals and test wells in the center of the basin in northern New Mexico and in Montezuma and Dolores Counties in Colorado. Leases, most probably for shale, have been proposed in La Plata, Dolores and San Miguel counties, and in the Chama River Valley. Shale underlies much of the region, and only time will show where development will be proposed.
This summer marked the release of the Lower Dolores River Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Plan. The plan lays out opportunities to stabilize and improve three native fish populations that have plummeted in the Lower Dolores River since McPhee Dam went into full operation in the late 1990s.
Senator Michael Bennet introduced the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act in the Senate in July 2012, a major step towards permanent protection for the watershed just north of Durango.
Due primarily to the Regional Haze Program under the Clean Air Act and the rising cost of coal-generated electricity, the future of two northwest New Mexico coal plants is very much in question. The utility owners of these plants face significant decisions concerning their willingness to invest in pollution controls.
The public comment period for a new Wolf Creek Draft Environmental Impact Statement closed October 16, 2012. The latest proposal is for a land swap of 178 acres of privately owned and undevelopable wetlands for 204 acres of public forest. The swap would enable the construction of a resort at 10,000 feet in elevation, to house up to 10,000 people.
Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act Introduced With Bipartisan Support
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Rep. Scott Tipton (R, CO-3) introduced legislation that would protect one of Colorado’s most revered landscapes – the Hermosa Creek watershed in the San Juan National Forest. The Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act would protect more than 100,000 acres of incredible wildlife habitat and ensure the future of the area’s wildly popular recreational opportunities. Read More www.hermosacreek.org
Click here to go to Sen. Bennet's website for the full text of the bill and to view a map of the proposed protections.
Long Overdue Analysis of Four Corners Power Plant Complex Begins
The federal Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement has initiated the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to analyze the coal-fired Four Corners Power Plant, the adjacent Navajo Mine, and transmission corridors. Read More
Group Works to Increase Resilience of Mixed Conifer
With fires raging in Colorado this summer, awareness has grown dramatically about the connection between forest health and our daily life and well being. Read More
Volunteers Tackle Fen Restoration at Ophir Pass
In summer 2012, the Alliance joined with diverse non-profit, business and agency partners to carry out an intensive hands-on restoration of a 1.6 acre fen at Ophir Pass. A fen is a type of wetland fed primarily by groundwater, rich in nutrients and plants that accumulate to form a deep layer of peat. Read More
BLM Proposes Leasing Lands for Oil and Gas Development
The Bureau of Land Management is proposing leasing of lands in western La Plata County and eastern Montezuma County, primarily south of Highway 160 in the area from Hesperus to Mancos Hill. The proposed lease areas also include parcels adjacent to Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. SJCA has been actively involved in evaluating the leases, providing detailed comments to the BLM, and providing information to our members and interested citizens. Read More
What is Community Solar?
Find out now - it’s coming to the La Plata Electric Association service area!
A community solar array, sometimes referred to as a solar farm or solar garden, is a fast-growing solar option designed to make renewable energy easy, accessible, and affordable for everyone–and right for the environment. A community solar array is a centralized photovoltaic (PV) power facility located in an electric utility territory that delivers reliable, commercial-scale renewable energy directly to the grid. Any ratepayer in that service area, including residences, businesses, and tax-exempt entities, can own or lease solar panels in the array without the challenges of installing panels on their own rooftop or property. In return for the power produced, customers receive credits directly on their monthly electric bills (just like a roof-mounted system). Community solar customers reduce their expenses, their exposure to rising electricity costs, and their carbon footprint.
Community solar arrays are situated for optimal sun exposure and professionally maintained for maximum power production and bill savings over an extended lifetime, up to 50 years. Customers can own as many panels as they choose (often as few as one and up to 100% of their power need). If a customer moves within the service area, bill credits transfer at no cost or customers can sell their panels at any time.
Community-owned solar, versus a solar lease, refers to a solar model in which participants own their panels as an asset, providing an extended savings solution long after the system has been paid for.
Fortunately, La Plata Electric Association members will soon be able to participate in community-owned solar. Project activation is expected by fall of 2014.
Express your opinion, sign up to learn more, and be first in line for a no obligation quote! Please click here to complete survey.
Click here for a Community Garden Statement of Interest
In the News - Articles
BLM Narrows Proposed Chaco Drilling Sites to Four - Durango Herald, September 5, 2013
A Proposed Alternative to 'Wild and Scenic' - Cortez Journal, July 15, 2013
San Juan County is Energy, Pollution Epicenter - Sierra Club, July 2013
Energy Leases Offered East of Mesa Verde - Cortez Journal, July 11, 2013
Twentieth Running of Hardrock 100 Takes Place this Weekend - The Watch, July 11, 2013
By Rose Chilcoat
Letter to the Editor, Durango Herald, 9/29/13
Recently, I attended the membership meeting of San Juan Citizens Alliance – one of the true organizational treasures of our region. I was reminded of, and impressed with, the important work the alliance alone does organizing people to protect our water and air, our lands and the character of our rural communities in the San Juan Basin.
Most people living here benefit from the alliance’s efforts, but only a few of us support it financially. In a region with a population approaching a quarter of million people, there are only about 500 folks who are members of the alliance, investing in conserving the places we love.
The San Juan Basin possesses some of the richest oil and gas reserves in North America. While their development benefits both the national and local economies, all of the negative effects are borne by the people and land of the San Juans. Our goal is to protect people’s health and land.
SJCA works to permanently protect our last free-flowing streams, enhance our rivers’ water quality and promote democracy in water policy.
Durango - Main Office
P.O. Box 2461, 1022 ½ Main Ave.
Durango, CO 81302
Phone: (970) 259-3583
Fax: (970) 259-8303
P.O. Box 1513
Cortez, CO 81321
Phone: (970) 565-7191
108 North Behrend, Suite I
Farmington, NM 87401
Phone: (505) 325-6724