BY KEVIN ROBINSON-AVILA / JOURNAL STAFF WRITER-Published: Monday, October 5th, 2020 at 10:03pm-Updated: Monday, October 5th, 2020 at 11:54pm.

U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Mark W. Menezes said efforts to convert the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station near Farmington into the world’s largest carbon-capture facility could make New Mexico a national and international leader for that technology.

Menezes visited Albuquerque on Monday, where he held two roundtable discussions with local industry leaders and some state legislators on the importance of the oil and gas industry in New Mexico, and on the prospect of converting the San Juan plant to carbon capture after the current owners abandon the facility in 2022.

The coal plant project could be a “game changer” that saves hundreds of local jobs and tens of millions in tax revenue, while encouraging other U.S. communities and countries to pursue that technology as well, he said.

“The breakthrough could happen here for this technology,” Menezes said.

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