"State regulators defend the decision because it allows for increasing use of renewable energy, but it also extends coal's life in the state."
"When New Mexico utility regulators decided to partially close the state's largest coal-fired power plant in December, they punted the controversial discussion of how long the state should rely on coal.
The San Juan Generating Station provides about a third of the state's power. During more than two years of caustic debate, the plant became a battleground over the state's long-term energy future. Coal formed the center of the controversy.
"This is probably the landmark case for New Mexico," Commissioner Karen Montoya of the New Mexico Public Regulatory Commission told InsideClimate News last spring. "It could determine generation in New Mexico for years to come." Montoya was part of the majority of commissioners who voted 4-1 for the deal on Dec. 16."