Bernalillo County opposes natural gas storage facility proposal

BERNALILLO COUNTY, N.M. — The Bernalillo County Commission voted Tuesday, 4-1, to oppose a natural gas storage facility proposed by New Mexico Gas Company.

County commissioners voted to approve a resolution recommending the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission deny a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity for the proposed facility.

NMGC officials said reliability issues during a 2021 cold spell meant they had to spend $107 million to meet customers’ needs. They believed a facility in New Mexico would serve customers better than one in West Texas.

Supporters of the resolution said improvements to the West Texas facility NMGC uses would cure reliability issues. They also alleged other problems with the facility:

  • Risks (e.g., leaks, emissions triggering fires and explosions)

During the hearing Tuesday, many of them expressed concerns over leaks, which Commissioner Baca reportedly echoed.

  • Cost-effectiveness

Supporters say a new facility would cost customers $180 million, which they say would far outweigh the current costs.

The proposed facility would fill what is currently a vast open field just north of the Double Eagle II Airport on the West Side. NMGC expects it to be a 25-acre liquefied natural gas storage facility.

The certificate for the facility will now go before the PRC for discussion and approval or denial.

A coalition, representing around 26 neighborhood and homeowners’ associations in Bernalillo County, reportedly passed its own resolution opposing it.