El Paso Electric Company, a private equity firm owned by JP Morgan Chase Bank, filed an application with the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) requesting Certificate of Convenience and Necessity (CCN) authorization for a new natural gas-fired power generating unit to be located at an existing plant site in the City of El Paso, Texas. This new generating facility is known as Newman Unit 6 and will be a 228 MW natural gas combustion turbine generating power plant - Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas G-Series Air-Cooled. The anticipated operational date for the gas turbine is 2023 at an expected cost of $143 million. The docket number and style of the application are: PUC Docket No. 50277, “Application of El Paso Electric Company to Amend Its Certificate of Convenience and Necessity for One Additional Generating Unit at the Newman Generating Station.”
El Paso Electric Co. is profiting off the Permian Basin’s unprecedented level of fracking. They are locking in El Paso’s climate destruction for the next 20 years, harming those in the Permian Basin and the El Paso region. EPE and JP Morgan lobbied the Public Utility Commission of Texas to approve of this project despite opposition from the City of El Paso. The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has not decided on the approval of this new fracking infrastructure.
The precise location of the Newman Generating Station is 4900 Stan Roberts S. Avenue, El Paso, Texas 79934, which is located between Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and McCombs Street, and approximately four-tenths of one mile east of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.
As a citizen, the next step is to write letters to the PUC of Texas and tell them your story and how you feel, and that you oppose new natural gas power plants.
Solar energy and battery storage could easily be installed instead of a new natural gas power plant to ensure EPE can support peak demand throughout the year. The Utility could invest more in solar, storage, wind, geothermal, and building up our local job base at the same time. Also, solar and storage is much quicker and easier to install and integrate with the utility. If EPE were to promote residential solar instead of fighting against it and adding a new tax that creates a minimum bill of $30/month for all solar homeowners. So if you ever go below a $30 total bill, they bump it right back up to $30, holding you hostage to their utility even if you are not using it.
Peer-reviewed findings from satellite data show that the Permian has unleashed the highest emissions ever measured from a major U.S. oil and gas basin. And hauntingly, despite the COVID-caused oil price drop, this historic level of production and pollution is still predicted to increase. A pre-COVID report predicted its production to double by 2030. J.P. Morgan stands to profit both from extracting natural gas through Permian fracking and selling these fossil fuels to consumers through gas plant electric generators. They won't experience the negative effects of their emissions and climate change and those profits will extracted from our community and sent to Wall Street. We need to own our Utility and create a Municipal Electric Utility in El Paso, TX.
While its authors outline a range of arguments, the report, Burning the Gas “Bridge Fuel” Myth: Why Gas is Not Clean, Cheap, or Necessary, highlights this simple reason: There is no room for new fossil fuel development — natural gas included — within the Paris Agreement goals. Therefore, plans to transition to a natural gas-based system are incompatible with international climate goals.
“We simply have no more time to debate what’s already been settled. We must move swiftly to a fully renewable energy economy and leave all fossil fuels, including gas, behind,” said Lorne Stockman, report author and Senior Research Analyst for Oil Change International. “Despite desperate attempts by the oil and gas industry to persuade policymakers that their products have a future in a climate-safe world, a rational look at the data clearly shows otherwise.”
Scientists say avoiding catastrophic climate change requires drastically reducing fossil fuel use. Meeting international climate goals and avoiding large-scale extinction of plant and animal life calls for rapidly decarbonizing the global economy, which is now a possibility with the low-and-dropping costs of renewable energy and storage.
When fracking for natural gas, if you leak more than 2 or 3 percent of the methane in the ground, it's worse for climate change than using coal power.