Senate Rules will consider all three of the Governor’s nominees for the PRC and we have serious issues with one of the nominees, Patrick O’Connell. Plus an update on Local Choice Energy and a Call to Action.
The Room Was Packed Until..
We turned out a great crowd for Local Choice Energy and the energy in the room was palpable. But then Sen. Hamblin introduced a small amendment that had been sent to committee members but not to the committee staff analyst. When Sen. Hamblin began to explain the amendment, Sen. Gallegos (R) commented “Republicans believe in rules and I’d like to see the analyst’s review of the amendment.” And just like that, the bill was rolled to Thursday at 9am. So we will be back. But before we return to Room 311 on Thursday, we have a major action right now. We must stop Patrick O’Connell.
Mr. Conflict of Interest, Patrick O’Connell, His Nomination Must Be Stopped
Senate Rules has announced a hearing for all three PRC nominees, tomorrow at 9am in Room 321. Two of the nominees are reasonable, though neither as good as the un-selected but best candidate, Carolyn Glick. Our internet has been out much of the day, returning in fits and starts. So Roxanne and I have been working furiously to get out an Alert and this blog to keep you current and galvanize your action.
So here are brief speaking points for why to oppose Patrick O’Connell.
The first requirement for PRC candidates is: “Candidates must be independent of the industries regulated by the Commission.” Yet:
- O’Connell was an exec at PNM for 12 years and with NM Gas Co for 8 years, both PRC-regulated entities.
- He testified in favor of the Avangrid merger before the PRC.
- He testified often at the PRC in support of PNM’s commitment to sustained use of fossil fuel-based energy, despite the economics clearly favoring a switch to less costly but less profitable renewables.
- His appointment is for six years, the longest possible term. We deserve a commissioner whose allegiance is to the people, not to PNM profit.
- Carolyn Glick has 15 years of direct regulation experience, she knows the rules, the process, the issues, and the stakeholders. She should have been the top pick.
If you want more detailed speaking points and background info, click here. For info on how to submit public comment and access the hearing by Zoom and for contact info for the Rules Committee Senators, click here to read this afternoon’s Alert. Sorry to ask you to click to two pages, but we wanted to get this out while you still have time to write to the Senators on the Rules Committee.
BUT, please write to the Senators right now, so they may actually see it before they are racing into Room 321 tomorrow morning. And if you possibly can, please join me in Room 321 at 9am tomorrow. We want those Senators to know we are not happy and we are paying attention.
In solidarity and hope,
Paul & Roxanne
Huddle Up Tomorrow at 6
Don’t forget to register for tomorrow’s Huddle, 6-7 p.m. Click here to register. Boy, will we have a lot to talk about. PLEASE NOTE: We’ve been experiencing intermittent Internet availability at our home the past few days, so if you sign on to Wednesday evening’s Huddle and it never begins, please know that our internet must be out again! Obviously we will be unable to notify attendees by email, but we apologize in advance if this happens. We’re working on getting it fixed. Fingers crossed!
Categories: Local-State Government & Legislation
Thanks for the update. It’s a good thing I didn’t decide to make the trip from Las Cruces to participate in today’s hearing on LCE. For tomorrow’s Senate Rules Committee hearing on the PRC Commissioners, can you do anything to: 1) ask that the webcast begin at least when the hearing begins (not 20-25 minutes later as happened with the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday); and 2) ask that all speakers position themselves close to a microphone? It is very frustrating to not be able to view and hear the committee hearing all the way through. Thanks.