We offer contact info, speaking points and background info from New Energy Economy and a link to view the Weds. PRC hearing. If you can’t attend the hearing, you can still send an email to or call your Commissioner. Also an update on the Redistricting hearings with a call to action. Please act now!
Today’s post includes:
- Brief comment on redistricting…short, somehat positive and with a call to action..
- Four Corners Power Plant decision on Weds., Dec. 15 –what’s at stake and how to raise your voice.To offer public comment, you must notify the PRC today. See below for details
- Info on New Energy Economy’s fundraiser Thursday night and its Casa Milagro SOL campaign and how you can help.
- Retake’s interview of Mariel Nanasi, Director of New Energy Economy, in which she outlines what was at stake in the utility merger deal and what she thought was most persuasive in achieving a unanimous decision. She also broke down what’s at stake in the Four Corners Power Plant decision.
Redistricting: Maybe Our Voices Matter; Dem Leadership May Be Shifting
I’ve heard from multiple sources, one being a key state Senator, that conversations are happening with cartographers and Navajo and Pueblo leadership to see if boundaries can be found that better respond to tribal priorities and that there is enough movement there to cause the Senate to delay voting on the SB2 substitute bill, hence yesterday’s repeated postponement of the floor hearing.
While an agenda is now posted for a Senate floor hearing today, no time is given, suggesting that leadership may still be working to develop agreement on another map with boundaries that better respond to indigenous priorities. There is no other explanation for the repeated postponement of this floor hearing and the vote on the Senate Judiciary committee’s substitute for SB2 map whose boundaries so offended indigenous leadership.
It is time to keep up the pressure on your Senator and let him/her know that the Dems shouldn’t appprove the Sen. Judiciary’s substitute for SB2 to create boundaries that protect incumbent electability. That substitute map ignores 8 months of tribal negotiations to achieve consensus on a map that respects their communities. To refresh your memory as to what is at stake click here to review yesterday’s post. Pay particular attention to the quotes from indigenous leaders cited in that post. Contact your state Senator and raise your voice now. Click here to identify your Senator and get contact info. Maybe we can undo Sunday’s travesty. More on this topic later this week.
Should ratepayers pay PNM $300M for its imprudent investments in Four Corners and, as part of the deal, should the most toxic power plant in the US be allowed to spew methane for at least 10 more years? We say NO!
We won a huge victory last week and learned that at the PRC, your voice matters. We heard numerous comments from Commissioners acknowledging the clarity of the comments they received opposing the PNM-Avangrid merger. So we ask you to raise your voice again this Wednesday (times, links below) — the Four Corners decision is nearly as important as the merger case.
If the PRC doesn’t override the Hearing Examiner (different Hearing Examiner than for the merger case), then Four Corners Power Plant (FCPP) will be belching methane until at least 2031, with hefty fines in place should they try to close sooner. Plus, if the PRC supports the Hearing Examiner’s recommendation, ratepayers will pay for all $300M of PNM’s flawed, imprudent Four Corners investments, investments they made without conducting any research as to whether investing that money to keep to FCPP open was a prudent investment. NEE did take the trouble to do the analysis and proved the investment imprudent.
In approving PNM’s request for $300M in recovery costs and approving FCPP abandonment, the Hearing Examiner made a very bad decision and we are asking Commissioners to overturn his recommendation.
It is very important that you put your public comment and/or your email/ phone call in your own words. Cookie-cutter comments are not valued by Commissioners. Here are points to pick and choose from:
- If securitization is approved, ratepayers will continue to pay for the carbon polluting facility well past its likely operating lifetime. The only transition to carbon-free energy will be on paper, from PNM’s generation portfolio, with no measurable reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
- PNM’s application violates both the letter and the spirit of the Energy Transition Act, which requires that the commission prevent fossil fuel plants from being “reassigned, redesignated or sold” as a means of complying with the Renewable Portfolio Standard.
- PNM established the market value of Four Corners at negative $75 million. That is what PNM is willing to pay to get rid of it. In no other situation would a business be allowed to charge customers for their losses on toxic assets for 25 years, many of whom will never even receive electricity from the plant.
- Instead of allowing this cynical cash grab, the Commission should simply deny PNM the authority to abandon the FCPP at this time, as PNM has not demonstrated that its planned sale and transfer is in the public interest.
- PNM imprudently invested in FCPP, ratepayers have been overcharged ever since, and the PRC should stop the bleeding. Not only should the abandonment application be denied, PNM executives and shareholders should be held responsible for restitution to impacted communities in Four Corners and for the cleanup and reclamation of the land and water despoiled by their plant.
- Commissioners should insist on conducting a prudence review of PNM’s imprudent investments in FCPP and determine what, if any portion of those costs, should be paid by ratepayers.
Senators Stefanics, Sedillo Lopez and Tallman penned a My View the New Mexican on the topic, published on Sunday. It is to the point and worth your review. Click here. One quote is offered from the My View:
When we attempted to amend the ETA in 2021 to confirm rates wouldn’t include any investment in Four Corners that the PRC determined were imprudent, we were told the rights of ratepayers to a prudence review would be protected. Yet, here we are.
Even the hearing examiner stated in his ruling that, if PNM were to get away with charging ratepayers for imprudent investments, this could “lead to a grave injustice.” Yet in his recommendation, he calls for the postponement of the prudence review that was ordered by the commission (in this case) until after securitization. As many intervenors responded — this is likely a legally untenable remedy.
Legislators and advocates were misled.
The commission should deny abandonment and sale of Four Corners, make a final prudence determination, and eliminate the risk that ratepayers will be stuck with costs that rightfully should be PNM’s responsibility.“Ratepayers shouldn’t cover PNM’s imprudent costs,” Senators Stefanics, Sedillo Lopez and Tallman, from the New Mexican, Dec. 10, 2021.
And unlike during the merger case, no one can claim that NEE stands alone in opposition. There is unanimous opposition to this decision among intervenors.
How to Offer Public Comment and View the Hearing
To watch the Weds. hearing live, click here www.nm-prc.org/nmprc-open-meeting-agenda/ several minutes before 9:30 am. And if you plan to offer comment, the PRC website says: “To sign up for public comment, please contact Sarah E. Valencia via email at email@example.com or phone (505) 490-7910 no later than 5:00 p.m. the day before the meeting.”
You can make calls and send emails starting now.
- Cynthia Hall, Commissioner – District 1, greater ABQ, Cynthia.Hall@state.nm.us (505) 827-8013:
- Jefferson L. Byrd, Commissioner – District 2, southeast NM, Jeff.Byrd@state.nm.us (505) 795-1037
- Joe Maestas, Commissioner – District 3, Santa Fe and up the middle of the state to the Colorado border, Joseph.firstname.lastname@example.org (505) 469-3537 or (505) 827-4533
- Theresa Becenti-Aguilar, Commissioner – District 4, Northwestern NM, T.Becenti@state.nm.us, (505) 795-0713.
- Commissioner Steve Fischmann – District 5, Southwestern NM including
Las Cruces, Silver City, and Belen, email@example.com,
NEE Fundraiser, Dec 16: Let’s Show Our Appreciation for Their Leadership
Click here to get tickets or make a contribution. To protect your health and safety, you must have proof of vaccination to attend. Roxanne and I hope to see you there on Thursday.
NEE does a good deal more than battle at the PRC.
Sol For ALL is a campaign to bring brighter possibilities for health, prosperity, and sustainability to the people of New Mexico, in line with longstanding community values.
NEE partners with diverse allies to create energy transformation. Solar today is cost-competitive, creates local jobs, avoids huge amounts of water use – all with none of the environmental and health hazards of coal and other fossil fuels.
For local nonprofits, farms, and public agencies, solar installation allows them to redirect funds previously spent on utility bills to the vital services they provide – money cycled back into the community, instead of for profit. NEE’s solar installations demonstrate the tangible economic, environmental, and health benefits of solar, and prove that the shift to renewable energy is not only necessary but possible today. NEE’s latest solar installation is described below.
Solarization of Casa Milagro – Santa Fe
Justice is the guiding principle at New Energy Economy and this commitment is reflected in its Casa Milagro Solarization Project. NEE was moved by Casa Milagro’s dignified treatment of formerly homeless people suffering from mental health challenges. This caused NEE to initiate a community-scale solarization project with Casa Milagro.
You can be part of the effort with a contribution toward the solarization of Casa Milagro, a safe, trusting, and nurturing community home for adults recovering from homelessness and debilitating mental health challenges.
DONATE and READ MORE about the transformational work taking place at Casa Milagro, Santa Fe’s “House of Miracle!”
Dec. 11 Interview with Mariel Nanasi, Executive Director, New Energy Economy
This was a most interesting interview, recorded the day after the PRC decision on the PNM merger and airing last Saturday at 8:30 am. If you missed hearing it on KSFR, you can watch it here. Mariel laid out what was at stake in the merger case and what she thought were the key factors in achieving a unanimous rejection of the deal She also clearly laid out what is at stake in the Four Corners abandonment case with a public hearing and decision scheduled for Weds., Dec 15 (see hearing details above). We also touched on another New Energy project, Casa Milagro Sol. Check it out.
In Solidarity and Hope,
Paul and Roxanne
Categories: Climate Justice