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Revitalizing a Mining Community with Solar

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My dad grew up in Raton, New Mexico where coal was the main source of economic opportunity and prosperity for the city. Now, the city struggles to stay afloat as many of its old mining sites shutter. These towns and areas struggle to rebuild and refocus themselves when they are so far away from city centers. There are places like Raton everywhere in New Mexico. Places like Ambrose Lake near Grants, for instance. 

In Grants, there is an old mining site that has been closed since 1993. For years, it went unused other than being a disposal site for the uranium it once provided. Currently, the mine is undergoing cleaning and disposal efforts.1 That will all change soon, though. BHP, the owner of the mining site, revealed plans to use this location for another purpose: renewable energy.

 This is a tremendous opportunity. In the simplest terms, repurposing the site for renewable energy creates jobs to clean up the mining site, construction jobs to build the renewable energy sites, and even more long-term jobs to maintain the renewable infrastructure. All of these pieces bring additional revenue to an area that currently relies primarily on tourism and the oil and gas industry. It also means the revitalization of a town that was once booming. Our state needs to bring in more opportunities– like the one BHP and Pattern Energy are providing to Ambrose– to rebuild our towns and move our state toward a renewable energy future.

We critically need these projects to move forward. Click here to sign our statewide petition, urging our decision makers to support more projects like these!

Written by Danielle Garcia
Danielle grew up in Bosque Farms, New Mexico in Valencia County. From an early age, she was passionate about working with young girls of color getting involved in leadership roles around science topics. With a lot of support and scholarships, she went to Eckerd College in Florida getting a BA in Geoscience with minors in Environmental Studies and Philosophy. Attending Eckerd College, Danielle was a Co-Founder of a social justice club, Latinos Unidos, the first club to reach Latinos on campus. Over the next free years, she became involved in political and environmental aspects seeing where they intersected. Now back in New Mexico with her cats, she has grown even more passionate about climate change and bringing an equitable system of sustainability to future generations.

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