EPA Refuses Equal Treatement to PNM, A Different Standard for Other States

Pat Vincent-Collawn
(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) – PNM today requested changes to the New Mexico air permit for San Juan Generating Station to allow for the installation of new visibility controls at the plant in the next several years. “We are prepared to move forward on installing new environmental controls that will meet federal visibility requirements and further reduce the plant’s emissions. Our strong preference is to do this in the most cost-effective way so that the cost to PNM customers and our state’s economy is kept as low as possible,” said Pat Vincent-Collawn, chairman, president and CEO of PNM parent company PNM Resources.
PNM is appealing a mandate by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that the San Juan plant install one particular technology, selective catalytic reduction (SCR), to meet a federal visibility requirement. The State of New Mexico has approved a different technology, selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR), that can meet that same federal requirement for about one-tenth the cost of EPA’s plan. Initial engineering estimates put the cost of EPA’s plan at about $750 million or more, while the state plan would cost about $77 million.
“Both technologies would improve visibility in regional parks and wilderness areas and represent progress toward meeting the state’s goal to restore visibility in those areas to a natural state by 2064, as required by the Clean Air Act,” Vincent-Collawn added. Read rest of story here: News New Mexico

Sapphire Obtains Private Funding to Go With Stimulus Money and a DOE "GUARANTEE"

New Mexico Business Journal - Sapphire Energy Inc. has closed on a $144 million series C round of funding for its algae-to-oil commercial demonstration project in Columbus, N.M. Arrowpoint Partners, Monsanto Co. and other undisclosed investors contributed to the round. The new funding brings total public and private investment in Sapphire to $300 million, said Sapphire President and Chairman Cynthia Warner.
The company previously received $104.5 million in federal funding for the Columbus project. It includes $50 million in stimulus money and a $54.5 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture U.S. Warner said the latest private investment shows investors are confident in Sapphire’s technology, which turns algae oil into renewable gasoline that is genetically identical to sweet crude pumped from the ground. Read full story here: News New Mexico

Martinez Unloads Another Plane

1976 Beechcraft King Air
KOB - Gov. Susana Martinez's administration has sold a state airplane for $245,000. The General Services Department on Thursday announced the sale of a 1976 Beechcraft King Air, which had been grounded since 2007. The agency estimated it would have cost the state $1 million to upgrade the twin-engine plane. The buyer of the plane was Fayard Enterprises, a Wake Forest, N.C. company that supplies aircraft for skydiving operations.The agency continues to try to sell another plane, a 1983 Gulfstream Turbo Commander. Read full story here: News New Mexico

10th Launch From Spaceport America

Spaceport America, NM – New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) officials announced the tenth launch from Spaceport America by UP Aerospace of Denver, Colorado. The liftoff of the sub-orbital sounding rocket took place from Spaceport America's vertical launch complex at approximately 8:18 a.m. (MST), within the dedicated, five-hour launch window. The rocket reached its sub-orbital altitude of 73 miles or 385,640 feet (117 km), accomplishing a new Spaceport America altitude record.
The launch was a non-public, unpublished event at the request of UP Aerospace, Inc. The primary payloads were Department of Defense (DoD) experiments. Additional payloads were carried for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the University of Texas and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
“This successful sub-orbital flight marks our tenth flight from Spaceport America, and we are excited to be delivering payloads for the DoD and other clients like the FAA and the University of Texas,” said Jerry Larson, president of UP Aerospace, Inc.
“UP Aerospace has now been successfully operating from Spaceport America for over five years, and we look forward to hosting many more of their launches as we move forward. During Phase Two of spaceport construction, which is now underway, we are in the process of expanding and improving our Vertical Launch Complex to enhance service to valued customers like Up Aerospace,” said NMSA Executive Director Christine Anderson.