WildEarth Guardians

A Force for Nature

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Photo: Craig Daily Press

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association – an obstacle to cheap, clean energy for far too long.

Tackling Tri-State

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association is a large electric co-op serving Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Wyoming. Since the 1970s, it has developed considerable infrastructure for generating and transmitting electricity, with most of it tied to coal plants and coal mines. Tri-State rules the West with an iron fist, preventing its member co-ops from developing and purchasing cleaner, more affordable energy via restrictive contracts; lobbying on behalf of the coal industry; and contributing to more than 11.2 million metric tons of carbon pollution every year—equivalent to the amount released by 2.4 million cars!

WildEarth Guardians has embarked upon a campaign to compel Tri-State to transition to clean, renewable energy. Our goal: a cleaner planet and empowered people.

Keep Our Coal in the Ground, Save Our Climate

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The Resistance Begins

Tri-State is the American West’s largest co-op utility company and one of the nation’s largest carbon polluters. Its restrictive contracts mandate member co-ops purchase at least 95 percent of their electricity from Tri-State, which limits members’ ability to develop their own electricity-generating facilities or purchase more affordable and cleaner energy from other providers. Furthermore, the steady stream of money means Tri-State itself has little incentive to develop cleaner, more affordable sources of energy.

But one by one, member co-ops are beginning to resist. In 2016, Kit Carson Electric Co-op in northern New Mexico bought out its contract, and other members are challenging or considering challenging the 95 percent constraint. Why? They realize they can obtain cheaper, cleaner, and—in many cases—more locally generated power than Tri-State is providing.

Tri-State’s economic position is tenuous. Its members are uneasy. We see an opportunity to expose these vulnerabilities and move Tri-State away from fossil fuels, empowering local renewable energy development. This is our path forward to diminishing the political influence of the fossil fuel industry in the American West, significantly reducing carbon emissions, and paving the way for rural energy independence and rural economic development.

The Truth of Tri-State’s Fossil Fuels

30 percent renewables…still sucks!

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Photo: WildEarth Guardians

How You Can Help

Help shift the power to create a fossil-fuel-free American West! Be a guardian for climate by joining the conversation, learning about current issues, and making your voice heard. Together, we're a powerful force for nature and a force to be reckoned with.

Climate + Energy Press

WildEarth Guardians Files Suit to Enforce Oil and Gas Pipeline Inspection Laws on American Public Lands

Aug 15, 2018

Great Falls, MT – Late yesterday, WildEarth Guardians filed suit in federal court against the U.S. Department of Transportation over their chronic failure to inspect more than 120,000 miles of oil and gas pipelines underlying federal public lands in th

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Chaco needs congressional leadership

The Santa Fe New Mexican | Mar 24, 2018

For centuries, Chaco Canyon was a gathering place where ancestral Puebloan peoples came together to make their world a better place. At the heart of the ancient civilization’s genius are the complex and intricate relationships between its grand architecture, global commerce, ceremonies and their link to solar and lunar cycles.

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San Juan coal mine gets larger environmental review

The Journal | Jun 29, 2018

A proposal to extend the San Juan coal mine lease in northwestern New Mexico that fuels an adjacent power station would have minor impacts on air and water, according to a new and larger environmental study.

The San Juan Coal Co. seeks to reaffirm a lease extension through 2033 to mine 36 million tons of coal to power the San Juan Generating Station.

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