PNM Securitization May Be Unconstitutional. Immigrant Days at the Roundhouse

Why our Roundhouse Election and Legislative strategies are so important: Folks like PNM. They even write legislation that is unconstitutional. The blog also includes info on Somos’ Immigration Days (Monday).

If you haven’t taken the Speak Up New Mexico! Legislative Priorities survey, please do so today. If you haven’t read about the two-pronged election and legislative strategy that will be informed by this survey, click here to find out more. The strategy has received praise from all corners of the state. This is your opportunity to tell Roundhouse leadership what you want. Click the blue button at left.

KSFR Mayoral Panel, Saturday Jan 27 (TODAY), 11am-1pm, Santa Fe Community College, Jemez Room. The panel will be live streamed at KSFR 101.1 FM but it would be way more fun to attend in person! This is why the Retake radio show will not be broadcast today. KSFR News Director, Tom Trowbridge and I will be co-moderating the panel and there is a plan for a lightning round where I will be asking five very specific questions seeking candidate positions on specific policies from our People’s Platform, click here to review the platform.

PNM: The Day Will Come When PNM’s Dishonesty Will Catch Up With Them.  How About Tuesday?

You’d think with all the suited and highly paid attorneys in PNM’s employ, they would have identified that SB47/HB80, the bill that they they wrote for the Representatives who introduced it, IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL.  We’ve got a good chance at defeating this disastrous bill but we need to mobilize our folks, like you, to do so. The big day is Tuesday! Before then New Energy economy is going to deliver all the amazing letters and petition signatures you all helped collect!

From New Energy Economy:  Three important developments they’d like to share:
  1. The revised bill has been filed and is in some ways worse than the original.
  2. More than a dozen economic, social, and environmental justice organizations signed on to our joint letter in opposition to the bill – which will be delivered tomorrow to key legislators and the Conservation Committee Members. In addition, a letter from a coalition of environmental groups that participate in the Environmental Alliance of New Mexico will submit another joint letter in opposition on Monday (RETAKE IS ONE OF THE SIGNERS). It should be increasingly clear to law-makers that the only real advocates for this bill are PNM lobbyists.
  3. This bill is unconstitutional! The New Mexico Constitution, Art. IV, § 34, states as follows:
“No act of the legislature shall affect the right or remedy of either party, or change the rules of evidence or procedure, in any pending case.”
As Retake has reported, New Energy Economy has 3 cases pending in the New Mexico Supreme Court and that appears to prevent the legislature from doing anything that would interfere with a pending case.Read NEE’s letter to legislative leadership about the unconstitutionality of the law HERE. So we are well on our way to building a winning case against this inappropriate and harmful bill. NEE is well on its way to building a winning case against this inappropriate and harmful bill.

There is another bill that addresses PNM’s Securitization goal. The primary difference is that this one makes sense and provides ratepayers with a good deal for asking them to underwrite some of PNM’s projected lost profits. It also is likely unconstitutional as it also would be a work around the PRC and the Courts, but it is still interesting to see the differences between a bill introduced by a thoughtful legislator who consulted with environmental groups and thoughtless legislators who introduced a bill written by and for PNM only.

From a report from an advocate attending a recent Sierra Club training we obtained this perspective. Two bills address the retirement of San Juan Generating Station. One is backed by the state’s leading conservation organizations , the other by PNM and its shareholders. Both bills authorize securitization. In Senator Ortiz y Pine’s bill, backed by conservation advocates, it is used to help save PNM customers and the utility money on fossil fuel closures, and provide assistance to San Juan County. The PNM bill serves the utility’s own interests, with little regard for customers or local economies. Here is a brief summary of the differences (from the Sierra Club):

What’s different? Environmental Community Bill PNM Shareholder Bill (SB 47)
Economic Development and Support for the Farmington Ensures San Juan County receives a steady level of ongoing economic development support from PNM shareholders until replacement infrastructure is built to replace tax base PNM shareholders have guaranteed· financial  protection,  while  San Juan County loses its tax and employment base with no economic backstop.
A Fair Deal for Customers Ensures customers get at least as good of a deal as they did on the first two units retired at San Juan, where PNM wrote off half the capital Guarantees PNM shareholders 100% recovery of undepreciated capital and other amounts (-$350 million), with little opportunity for the PRC to determine if the costs are reasonable
Renewables & Replacement Power Ensures investment in cost- competitive clean, renewable energy to replace the San Juan plant’s generation Authorizes PNM customers to pay up to $160 Million above market price for new generation in San Juan County,, with a 10% return to its shareholders on that replacement.

No new renewable energy is required.

Fair Competition All replacement power is bid in through a fair competitive process Guarantees PNM ownership with no competitive bidding required.
Plant Closure Guarantee Ensures closure of the aging San Juan if PNM is to recover capital PNM can recover capital, then continue to operate San Juan to make wholesale sales , or sell San Juan to another owner, so it keeps polluting NM air and water

New Energy Economy:  What You Can Do to Help:

1) Please sign-up to attend New Energy Economy’s in-person training at 12:00PM on Monday, January 29th to prepare to visit Conservation Committee members before their vote on Tuesday and then plan to head over to the legislature. The training will be a quick 30 minutes and then we’ll unleash you (but we’ll send a staff member over with you to help you find the right people if you’re new to this).

2) Please sign-up for New Energy Economy’s  Webinar training at 1PM on Monday, January 29th to prepare to call or visit Conservation Committee members before their vote on Tuesday. Below are the numbers if you’re already poised and ready.

Title Name Telephone Number Email Party Role
Senator Joseph Cervantes (505)986-4861 D Chair
Senator Elizabeth “Liz” Stefanics (505) 986-4377 D Vice Chair
Senator Richard C. Martinez (505) 986-4487 D Member
Senator Cisco McSorley (505) 986-4389 D Member
Senator William P. Soules (505) 986-4834 D Member
Senator Peter Wirth (505) 986-4727 D Member

3) Attend the Senate Conservation Committee meeting at 8:30AM, Tuesday, January 30th. Some folks are meeting up at New Energy Economy at 8AM if you want to head over with us. I will certainly be at the hearing.


SOMOS Un Pueblo Unido “We Are All America” Rally at the Roundhouse

Join us this Monday, January 29th as we kick off the “We Are All America” national week of action and help us fight back against the President’s attacks on our communities! I attended SOMOS’ Roundhouse event last year and it was incredible. Can’t ask for a more inspiring way to spend a day. As I will be meeting with a host of legislators in the morning to oppose the PNM bill, I will miss the training, but will be at the event.

Moral Monday, January 29th

Immigrant Day of Action 2018

Defending Our Families, Uniting Our Community
8 a.m. | Lobbying training and breakfast at the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market pavilion (1607 Paseo de Peralta Santa Fe, NM).  Street parking and parking structure available
10:30 a.m. | Lobby legislators (490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM)
12 p.m. | Rally outside the Capitol building (east concourse)
To RSVP for lobby training or for more information call Somos at: (505) 424-7832 or by email at Click here to view flyer.
Tomorrow, I will be presenting a short blog on the Siler Rd. affordable housing project. There is a good deal to like about it, but also some serious questions that should be answered before approval moves forward. Unfortunately, from what I understand, there is precious little time remaining to get this done.  Details tomorrow.
In solidarity,
Paul & Roxanne

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