San Juan Citizens Alliance

San Juan Citizens Alliance

May 29, 2019

The San Juan Citizens Alliance claims they protect clean air and water and promote healthy lands in Colorado and New Mexico. That might sound well and good, but it’s code for an extreme anti-jobs eco-agenda. The group was explicitly formed in 1986 to combat “oil and gas development,” and they’ve worked over the years to throw tens of thousands of people out of work.

Oppose Responsible Oil And Gas Development

Safe, responsible oil and gas have helped the states of Colorado and New Mexico boom. In Colorado, the energy industry supports more than 89,000 jobs and contributes $32 billion per year to the economy. Colorado doubled its natural gas output since 2001, and it is now one of the top five natural gas producing states in the country.

In New Mexico, it’s a similar story. The state’s energy economy is thriving and has helped drive New Mexico to a $1.2 billion budget surplus while pumping tens of millions of dollars into public education.

The San Juan Citizens Alliance wants to end this prosperity. For decades they have opposed oil and gas, using lawsuits to try and block the US Bureau of Land Management from allowing new oil and gas wells in New Mexico, and suing the federal government to stop oil and gas leases in Colorado. Unfortunately, they’ve had some success. A recent case brought by the San Juan Citizens Alliance held that the cumulative environmental impact of drilling must be evaluated by the federal government – legal jargon making it harder for oil and gas to expand and create more jobs.

A whopping 97 percent (subscription required to view link) of the San Juan Citizens Alliance’s funding comes from outside of Colorado and New Mexico, with a sizable portion from California. Perhaps that explains why the group is willing to undermine the economies in those states.

Helped Draft New Mexico’s “Green New Deal”

The San Juan Citizens Alliance not only wants to stop oil and gas drilling in the courts – they want legislators to effectively ban the industry from selling energy in New Mexico. They supported and helped draft the recently-passed “Energy Transition Act,” an extreme 100 percent “clean” energy mandate that some are calling New Mexico’s own “Green New Deal.” This legislation puts 10,000 jobs at risk and could mean that electric prices on families will double.

Hurt The Navajo Economy

Native Navajo in New Mexico are also at risk, thanks to the San Juan Citizens Alliance’s dangerous policy goals.

The San Juan Citizens Alliance is attempting to close the Four Corners Power Plant and Navajo Mine Complex – a mine owned by the Navajo nation that has supplied power for 50 years. In 2016, a San Juan Citizens Alliance staffer was caught on camera admitting that the mine employs over 870 people, most of them Navajo – but the San Juan Citizens Alliance wants to close the plant anyway, and has sued to block the mine from staying open.

The impact on the Navajo community would be disastrous.

The Navajo Nation faces brutally high unemployment rates, with the US Census Bureau estimating that 19.1% of the nation is unemployed, and 40.5% are below the poverty line.

The San Juan Citizens Alliance would make this situation even worse and throw hundreds of people out of work, many of whom are fourth generation miners.

The San Juan Citizens Alliance may imply they care about “citizens,” but the people of New Mexico, Colorado and the Navajo nation are under threat because of their damaging policies.

Top Staff

Mark Pearson, Executive Director

Erika Brown, Communications Manager

Jimbo Buickerood, Lands and Forest Protection Program Manager

Mike Eisenfeld, Energy and Climate Program Manager

Susan Etter, Finance and Administration Manager

Marcel Gaztambide, Amimas Riverkeeper

Zach Pavlik, San Juan Energy Campaign Organizer

Katie Pellicore, Energy and Climate Campaing Organizer