By Tessa Mentus | KOB
New Mexico is in the middle of an energy battle just as massive the San Juan Generating Station itself. The fight does not just involve what comes out of the plant or its attached coal mine near Farmington. It’s also about the people who go into them every day.
“These folks, this is who they are. This is who their fathers were; this is who their grandfathers were,” said Farmington Mayor Nate Duckett. “We’re right here in the middle of this story.”
That plant’s final chapter is set to end in 2022 when PNM closes it. More than a thousand people will clock out for the last time.
“We want to keep our jobs,” said Shannon Fitzgerald, who has worked at the plant for 36 years. “We want to keep our way of life up here.”
“My mom and dad met building San Juan Generating Station, ” said Geneva Griego. “My mom was the laborer, and my dad was an iron worker, so I’m here because of that place.”
PNM announced a plan to close the plant in 2017. Local and state officials have been preparing since then.
“They deserve an investment,” said Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. “They made New Mexico successful, and we should repay their investment in us.”