Avangrid

A Primer On All That Is Wrong with the Proposed PNM-Avangrid Merger & What You Can Do About It

Updated 11/21/21 with Guidance for Contacting PRC Commissioners

There are so many things wrong with the proposed PNM-Avangrid utility merger, it is hard to know where to begin. The PRC Chief Hearing Examiner handed us 450 pages of reasons for Commissioners to deny the merger. But, and this is a HUGE BUT, PRC process allows the Commissioners to craft their own agreement, and we expect that the Governor and her allies will apply a good deal of pressure to overturn the recommended decision. So we are taking no chances and are developing a communication strategy to ensure that we provide an avalanche of calls and emails that are personal and persuasive. This is no time to rest. We are so close to a remarkable victory.

if you want to learn more about Public Power and how it would serve as an alternative to private investment in and profit from our vast wind and solar resources, click here to review a July Retake post on the benefits of public power and how it can be achieved in NM. Public Power is clearly a better choice for NM than handing over our resources to PNM/AAvangrid/Iberdrola. It is important to understand how NM could gain from developing its own renewable resources, rather than just ceding them to the corporatocracy..

We’re told that the PRC will not meet the week of Thanksgiving and that a decision will be rendered the first or second week of December. So, while we want to start contacting Commissioners now while they are having internal discussions about the recommended decision and starting to shape their opinion, we want to build momentum and increase the number of calls and emails as we approach decision time. LET’S DO THIS.

To ramp up our advocacy, we are hosting a “Final Push Action Zoom” on Dec. 1.

Final Push Action Zoom – Weds., Dec. 1, 6-7 pm. This Zoom will be part discussion and part action. We will review our communication strategy and discuss what final actions we need to take. Then we are going to make it fun. After 30 minutes of discussion, we will initiate a virtual phone /email bank, providing PRC Commissioner phone numbers and calling them during the Zoom. We will structure the Zoom so that participants are organized into groups by PRC Commissioner and we will coordinate so that only one person is calling an individual Commissioner at a time, while others will be crafting emails to send to Commissioners during the Zoom and to send to friends they will try to recruit to the campaign.

Please join us even if you previously called and/or emailed, as you can simply offer a new reason for opposing the merger. Our goal by the end of the Zoom is to have made 75 calls, sent 75 emails, and each participant to have sent emails to 5 or more friends encouraging them to get involved in the campaign. For the next week, we need each PRC Commissioner to hear loud and clear that their constituents do not approve of this merger.

Click here to register for the Final-Push Zoom, Dec. 1, 6 p.m.

Getting Started

  1. Review this page.
  2. If you use social media, link to this page on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
  3. Send an email to and call your PRC Commissioner to voice your opposition.
  4. Send an email to 5-10 or more friends and include a link to this page. Strongly encourage friends to take a moment to review the page, stating that it will make it easy for them to call and send emails to the PRC. Stress that you’ve been tracking this issue and are not fooled by the misinformation in the ads.
  5. Attend the Zoom.
  6. Go the extra mile and
    • Write a letter to the editor.
    • Send an email to one of your legislators, city councilor, or county commissioner and tell them why you oppose this merger, give them a link to this page and ask them to use it to communicate with PRC Commissioners. Elected officials’ input carries more weight.
    • Organize a calling party during working hours with a ton of vaccinated friends and call PRC Commissioners together. High-fives all-around.

Our Strategy

  • First below, we present in broad strokes why this merger is a terrible deal for New Mexico and PNM ratepayers. This section is full of citations from the Hearing Examiners order and facts on Iberdrola and Avangrid’s performance in Spain, Maine, and at the PRC hearing.
  • Second, we offer excerpts from sworn testimony from one of the nation’s foremost merger experts, Scott Hempling. His testimony further validates our concerns and concludes by stating unequivocally that the merger is not in the public interest. His damning testimony is crystal clear and directly cites actual merger proposal language and PNM board meeting merger discussions. The conclusion drawn from Hempling’s testimony is inescapable: This is a very bad deal.
  • Third, we offer suggestions as to how you can engage others in this campaign– a critical part of this process and one that many are reluctant to do
  • Fourth, we present guidance on how you can prepare a persuasive email to your PRC Commissioner.
  • Lastly, we offer suggestions for how to prepare your own letter to the editor or Op-Ed, offering a link to a list of over two dozen media outlets statewide

Avangrid-Iberdrola have piles of money they can use to place ads full of misinformation. We need to make sure that our voices count for more than their money.

Broad Strokes: Why this merger is so bad for NM and PNM ratepayers

The primary problems with the proposed merger include Avangrid-Iberdrola’s:

  1. abysmal customer satisfaction history;
  2. history of outages and failed reliability;
  3. failed billing system;
  4. shut-off notices sent during COVID pandemic, against Maine state law
  5. complete absence of consideration of ratepayer and public benefit in the merger proposal;
  6. lack of commitment to or expertise in renewable energy;
  7. complete disregard for laws and regulation as illustrated by their behavior in Maine, Spain, and throughout the PRC Hearing, and now a new reason;
  8. Avangrid/Iberdola/PNM’s refusal to agree to performance reliability metrics and automatic penalties for failure to meet those metrics.

Finally, the PRC’s Chief Hearing Examiner spent a month assmbling a reccomended decision with 450+ pages of reasons for opposing the merger with much of the findings focused on what an untrustworthy partner Avangid Iberdrola would be. How can Commissioners reject that recommendation to create a deal with someone they’ve been warned is so untrustworthy?

1. Abysmal Customer Satisfaction History

As described in a News Center Maine report, on surveys conducted by JD Power and Associates, Central Maine Power (CMP)/Avangrid/Iberdrola ranked last among all large and mid-sized electric utilities for customer satisfaction in 2018, 2019 and 2020. In 2013, prior to Avangrid’s acquisition of CMP, it was ranked among the highest in the nation in terms of customer satisfaction.

A Maine public audit of Avangrid management found it consistently sacrificed effective operations and customer service in favor of profit. For this behavior, Avangrid subsidiaries have been forced to pay $63 million for violations and penalties in the last five years.

There is a reason for the precipitous decline in customer satisfaction in Maine and it begins with the unreliability of CMP/Avangrid’s delivery of electricity and the high number of outages experienced across the state.

2. History of Outages and Failed Reliability

Chart excerpted from link above right.

Based on data collected from 2015 – 2019, Maine saw the highest average number of power outages of any state, at nearly four per year. This is significantly higher than the runner up, West Virginia, which experienced an average of 2.8 outages per year. (“The Most & Least Power Outages by U.S. States,” by Joe Kaminski, March 3, 2021, MRO Electric & Supply Co., Inc.)

Chart excerpted from link above.

Maine not only experienced the highest average number of outages per year but also had the nation’s second highest average annual downtime per disruption. According to the data to the right, downtime in Maine averaged 14.1 hours, beaten only by Florida’s 14.6 hours.

Even more damning than their poor reliability and customer satisfaction ratings is Avangrid’s clear disregard for customers, as manifest in their billing fiasco and their sending shut-off notices during the COVID pandemic against state law.

3. Failed Billing System

From a Feb. 2020 article in Maine’s Portland Press Herald: “For customers, the bad news began in the fall of 2017, after the company switched over from an aging, data management system. Within days, customers were receiving erroneous bills. Soon, 97,000 of the company’s roughly 620,000 customers were sent bills at least 50 percent higher than for the same three-month period a year earlier. Many residential and commercial ratepayers got no bills at all – and were shocked when the eventual balance became more than they could afford… In all, 59 distinct types of billing errors affecting more than 100,000 customers were discovered, according to the PUC.” 

4. Shut-off Notices Sent During COVID Pandemic and Dead of Winter in Direct Violation of Maine State Law

In Maine, utilities are prohibited from turning off a residential customers’ power in winter prior to April 15 without approval from the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which is rarely granted. Despite that prohibition, CMP/Avangrid/Iberdrola issued thousands of misleading disconnect notices to Maine residents during the 2020-21 winter months in the midst of the COVID pandemic. The Maine PUC issued an order on August 5, 2020, finding that CMP had violated a PUC rule and required payment of an administrative civil penalty of $500,000, the maximum allowed under Maine law. To learn more, read the article at this link: Maine PUC Issues Order Involving Central Maine Power, Aug. 6, 2020, Energy Central News.

5. Complete Absence of Consideration of Ratepayer and Public Benefit In the Merger Proposal

We provide a few selected excepts from the testimony of utility expert Scott Hempling to outline Avangrid/Iberdrola and PNM’s utter disregard for customer benefit. Not only did he scour all of what merger partners submitted to the PRC, he also reviewed minutes from PNM board meetings.

Hempling is an attorney who specializes in utility regulation and mergers. His legal treatise, Regulating Public Utility Performance: The Law of Market Structure, Pricing and Jurisdiction, was published by the American Bar Association in 2013. It has been described as a “comprehensive regulatory treatise [that] warrants comparison with Kahn and Phillips.” A second edition will be published by Fall 2021. His book Regulating Mergers and Acquisitions of U.S. Electric Utilities: Industry Concentration and Corporate Complication was published by Edward Elgar Publishing in Fall 2020.In short, he knows utility regulation and when he tells you to run for the hills, you’d best run.

Excerpts from Expert Testimony from Scott Hempling

First, we’ll look at Hempling’s testimony on the purpose of the merger and both parties’ real motivations for the proposed the deal. The testimony throughout refers to PNMR (PNM Resources), the investor-owned holding company that owns PNM and that led the negotiations for the merger:

PNMR chose Iberdrola/Avangrid based on price. And Iberdrola/Avangrid didn’t choose PNMR so it could make PNM a better utility. Iberdrola/Avangrid chose PNMR to get a Southwestern “platform”—a government protected monopoly platform from which to make more acquisitions and sell more renewable energy.”

Moreover, Avangrid has no plan for creating benefits. It has performed no studies on cost savings or management improvements. It has identified no economic or engineering inefficiencies for the transaction to improve. By the Applicants’ own words, this transaction has no public interest purpose.” (from p. 56 of testimony)

Hempling offered two specific examples of Avangrid/Iberdrola-PNM-R’s disregard for customer benefit:

First, at no point in the narrative did PNMR’s executives and advisors demand, or even ask, that prospective acquirers offer any serious customer benefits. (Respectfully, I don’t consider $24.6 million a serious benefit, especially when compared to the PNMR shareholders’ $713 million gain.) PNMR bargained over price, cash-stock ratio, breakup fees, Board membership and executives’ location, but never over customer benefits. No one gathered or presented serious information, conducted serious analyses or made any serious plans, about improving PNM’s performance. Customer benefits were beside the point.” (from p. 18 of testimony)

Considering how much Avangrid and PNM have spent on continuous ads describing their concern for ratepayers and the public, one would think there would be at least a mention of public benefit in the merger documents.

Finally, Hempling points out that PNM shareholders are the true beneficiaries of this proposed merger:

Iberdrola/Avangrid has agreed to pay PNMR shareholders a $713 million control premium. This situation—PNMR receiving so large a gain for doing so little, with the customers who created the value underlying the premium getting so little—is contrary to the public interest.” (from p. 23 of testimony)

Hempling’s conclusion to his testimony is compelling:

My testimony is complex because this transaction is complex. But the message is not. Iberdrola/Avangrid wants to control PNM to get a platform; PNMR wants to sell control of PNM’s public franchise to get $713 million. Nothing about this transaction benefits consumers; much about this transaction will harm them. There are no reasons to approve this transaction, and many reasons to reject it.” (from p. 76 of testimony).

Access the complete testimony at the link below.

6. Absence of Commitment to or Experience with Renewable Energy

In ad after ad, Iberdrola and Avangrid assert that they are international leaders in developing and delivering renewable energy. Yet the facts completely refute that assertion. In the hearing, they actually admitted to having no expertise in solar development.

  • Under questioning by Commissioner Hall, when asked what expertise Avangrid could offer to assist NM in its planned transition to renewables, Avangrid’s CEO testified: “I’m not an engineer by trade, but in talking to our team, … we’re quite frankly learning on the fly as we go through this.” p. 158.
  • Despite advertising their renewable energy expertise, less than 2% of Iberdrola’s generation comes from solar.

That Avangrid/Iberdrola lack experience, knowledge or commitment to renewable energy would be bad enough, but it seems that in Maine and Spain they have a documented history of undermining the development of renewables.

  • The Maine PUC started an investigation this year into CMP’s (owned by Avangrid) implementation of interconnection practices for developers trying to install rooftop and community solar projects. The Commission is investigating complaints that CMP has increased the costs to be charged renewable energy developers to connect their projects to CMP’s system months after entering agreements with the developers on the proper amounts. (p. 48)
  • And from an investigative report conducted by Spanish think tank, HEGOA:

“What is more, Iberdrola together with another 8 major European energy corporations proposed measures to the European Parliament to increase Europe’s dependency on fossil fuel and reduce renewable energy sources.”

HEGOA – Institute for International Cooperation and Development Studies, “Iberdrola is Not Green: The hypocrisy of a transnational energy corporation that painted itself green.”

7. Complete Disregard for the Rule of law and Regulatory Authority & Process

Avangrid/Iberdrola has a long history of skirting regulation in Maine and Spain. And now in NM, they have disregarded or ignored Commission orders, walking to the precipice of illegality – that’s the practice of Avangrid/Iberdrola. And we know that past action is the best indicator of future behavior.

In Maine, with a statewide ballot initiative slated for this November with voters asked to approve or deny Avangrid/CMP plans for a huge transmission line running through the pristine Maine forests, Avangrid/CMP went ahead with clearing forests in advance of securing voter approval. And when voters voted NO by a 60%-40% margin, Avangrid/CMP held a press conference the very next day to announce their plans to ignore the voter mandate and proceed with the transmission line. See photo below.

Talk about disregard for authority and the views of their customers! Any wonder why they have the lowest customer service rating in the nation? Do you feel the folks who did this to the Maine forest would respect our Chaco Canyon and other indigenous sacred sites? There is even more evidence of Avangrid-Iberdrola’s disrespect for regulatory authority, law, and you! Read on.

Avangrid’s Disregard for Regulatory Authority in NM

Avangrid was found to have avoided the NM PRC’s location control review for the El Cabo wind Farm project. And Avangrid failed to provide documentation required for the La Joya wind farm project. (p. 28; pp. 159-162). This and other misbehavior led the Hearing Examiner to conclude:

“The violation and skirting of Commission rules and orders in the course of this proceeding indicate that a significant effort would be required to enforce the terms of any conditions attached to any approval of the Proposed Transaction.

They simply can’t be trusted and the Hearing Examiner found their behavior so egregious, he recommended imposing sanctions against them. And this may be the single most important reason to reject the merger:

“Even assuming the adoption of protections that appear sufficient, including protections to ensure service quality and reliability, the Commission will need to devote considerable enforcement resources to ensure that Avangrid, Inc. and PNM comply with those protections. Avangrid, Inc. has not been forthcoming regarding the penalties and disallowances that have been assessed against its Northeast public utilities, and it has violated and skirted Commission rules and orders in this proceeding. The Hearing Examiner is recommending sanctions against Avangrid, Inc. for its discovery violations in this case. Avangrid Renewables, LLC has also skirted and failed to comply with Commission rules and orders in regard to its current renewable energy projects in New Mexico.”

This is an unprecedented ruling. In conversation with Mariel Nanasi, Executive Director of New Energy Economy, she noted that she had never heard of such a stipulation. But even if it has occurred in the past, it is a marked indication of the degree to which the Chief Hearing Examiner was appalled by Avangrid’s behavior. The Hearing Examiner went on to warn that even if Avangrid/Iberdrola agreed to all “protections sought in the Hearing Examiners Recommended decision,” Avangrid-Iberdrola are so untrustworthy that the PRC would need to invest enormous resources to verify fulfillment of any and all promises they make.


Preparing an Effective Email to PRC Commissioners

We don’t think that repeated, identical emails or verbatim calls will be effective in swaying the PRC, and it’s best to keep it concise. Commissioners just need to know you want this merger denied; they’ve already pored over tons of testimony and the Hearing Examiner’s recommended decision. So you don’t need to present five or six well documented reasons for your opposition. But given that PNM/Avangrid/Iberdrola are now making noise about having accepted all the Hearing Examiner’s conditions, some may believe there is no reason not to approve the merger. It is important to stress their refusal to accept performance metrics and their disingenuous argument for why those metrics are not needed (see below).

First, identify your PRC Commissioner. If you don’t know which PRC District you are in, click here to get to a map showing the boundaries for each district.

Begin your email by first stating your name and that you are a constituent. If you campaigned for or voted for the Commissioner, mention that.

“Hello Commissioner X,

“My name is________________(YOUR NAME), and I m a constituent in District (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5.)

  • Indicate your support for their campaign for PRC.
  • Indicate your support for the Hearing Examiner’s decision;
  • Reference one of the reasons for opposition and substantiate with evidence provided above, ideally citing the Hearing Examiner (#8 of REASONS TO OPPOSE, may be the most persuasive reason of all).
  • Note that while their Nov. 12 filing begins by committing to accept all of the Hearing Examiner’s stipulations, Avangrid/Iberdrola/PNM concludes the filing explicitly refusing to accept four key stipulations, including refusing to accept reliability metrics and automatic penalties for reliability failures. This was proposed by the Hearing Examiner to protect ratepayers from Avangrid’s history of poor performance regulatory noncompliance. Yet they refuse to accept metrics to hold themselves accountable for delivering acceptable service. Their argument against this stipulation is that: “No other New Mexico electric utility is subject to penalties for failing to meet the same or similar standards to be required of PNM,” and that PNM’s track record over the past 5 years should be assurance enough. Clearly, they miss the point. The issue is Avangrid/Iberdrola’s recent performance, not PNM’s. NM has no utility with anything like Avangrid/Iberdrola’s history of outages, botched billing, and dismal customer satisfaction rating. Avangrid/Iberdrola have earned the requirement of strict performance metrics . But even with strict protections, the Hearing Examiner notes: ““Even assuming the adoption of protections that appear sufficient, including protections to ensure service quality and reliability, the Commission will need to devote considerable enforcement resources to ensure that Avangrid, Inc. and PNM comply with those protections. Avangrid, Inc. has not been forthcoming regarding the penalties and disallowances that have been assessed against its Northeast public utilities, and it has violated and skirted Commission rules and orders in this proceeding.
  • Close by citing the Hearing Examiner being so appalled by Iberdrola’s failure to comply with discovery orders that he recommends imposing sanctions.
  • Include a statement such as: “It is easy to understand the desire to move on from PNM, but this merger would only be trading bad for worse.” Or
    “There are some Commissioners who might be lured to approve a merger because of their disgust with PNM, but based upon the evidence in this hearing, this would be worse.” Again, use your own words.
  • Close with some level of incredulity that this is even an issue, given how terribly Iberdrola behaves in Spain and Avangrid behaves in Maine. [Use your own words.]
  • Thank him/her or her/his service.

Contact Information

Even if you plan to join our Zoom on Wednesday, Dec. 1, please use the info above to craft your email and call your Commissioner in the meantime. When you call, make sure to note that you have also sent an email.

Cynthia B. 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 Maestes, Commissioner – District 3, Santa Fe and up the middle of the state to the Colorado border.
Joseph.maestas@state.nm.us (505) 469-3537 or (505) 827-4533

Theresa Becenti-Aguilar, Commissioner – District 4, Northwestern NM including Farmington, Gallup and Grants, t.becenti@state.nm.us, (505) 795-0713

Stephen Fischmann, Commissioner – District 5, Southwestern NM including
Las Cruces, Silver City, and Belen
, stephen.fischmann@state.nm.us,
(505) 216-8569


Engaging Others

If we are going to mount a sustained campaign that escalates as we approach “Decision Time,” we need to continuously expand the number of constituents contacting Commissioners. To do this means many, many of you will have to get out of your comfort zone and reach out to people you know, people who trust your judgment and will be inclined to do as you recommend.

The success of this campaign will depend upon how many of you reach out and recruit others to join our work. Let’s Do it!
  • First, create your own email to your Commissioner and make your call. You can’t ask others to do something you haven’t done.
  • Make a list of friends you will contact.
  • Create a motivating, enthusiastic email note. Feel free to customize ours below.
  • Begin sending personal emails to five or more friends every day. In that email, begin with a brief personal note that conveys you are not sending a massive email to scores of folks. Then paste in your pitch. Ask friends to let you know if they have followed up and written/called their Commissioner.
  • Post to social media (sample post provided) and include the link to this page.
  • In a week to ten days, email everyone on your list a second time to let them know how many folks have gotten back to you and to nudge those who haven’t yet responded.
  • In the reminder email, include the invite for the Final Push Action Zoom so you can share your stories, hear from others, and get last minute updates on where we stand and last actions we can take as decision day approaches.

Sample email to friends

Hello [insert name],

You know that I pay close attention to climate issues in NM. No doubt you’ve heard the ads promoting the proposed PNM merger with Avangid/Iberdrola. I hope you realize how misleading these ads are. I’ve read a good deal about Avangrid/Iberdrola and, as bad as PNM is, these folks are much worse. The PRC’s Chief Hearing Examiner was so appalled with the merger proposal that he wrote a 450+ page Recommended Decision full of detailed reasons to not just reject the merge, but to impose sanctions on Avangrid for consistently undermining the hearing process. Trust me, these guys are bad actors.

Fortunately, Retake Our Democracy is working with Renewable Taos, YUCCA, Indivisible Nob Hill, and other grassroots groups to organize opposition. Retake has created an Avangrid Action Strategy page that includes a concise description of all that is wrong with the merger, speaking points, and guidance for submitting persuasive emails to your PRC Commissioner. The Guide includes contact info for all Commissioners and a link to a page with a map that makes it easy to identify who your Commissioner is. It makes raising your voice easy, and after you read their summary of what is wrong with the merger you will be motivated to do more than make one call and send one email. I plan to spend a few minutes every day getting out the word. I hope you will, too.

I honestly think this is the most momentous decision NM has faced in years, and the consequences will be with us for decades. Do we want to allow a multinational corporation with a history of poor performance, abysmal customer satisfaction, and criminal investigations to come to NM to profit from exporting our solar and wind, or should NM profit from our own resources? This means a lot to me and much more to NM, so I really hope you will join me in this effort.

Thanks for reading this note. Now please go to Retakeourdemocracy.org/Avangrid/ and use the guide to make just one call and send just one email. Then get back to me to let me how it went.

Thanks again.

Yours,

name


Follow-Up Actions

Once you’ve sent notes to the friends on your list, send out a brief reminder email a week or so later:

  • To those who have not written to tell you that they’d made the call and sent the email, simply write to say: “I haven’t heard back from you about contacting Commissioners. If you want to talk about it give me a call 505 XXX-XXXX. If you’ve made the call and sent the email, let me know how it went.”
  • To those who got back to you saying they’d made contact, thank them and ask if they would write to some of their friends, asking them to make a call and send an email and send them the link to the strategy page.

Social media actions

If you use Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you can very easily spread the word to a much larger audience. Simply write a far shorter version of your note to your friends indicating your opposition to the merger, encouraging folks to use our guide to raise their voices and providing a link to the Guide at the end of your note: Retakeourdemocracy.org/Avangrid/

You can tag friends in FB or Twitter to expand your reach. This is an action you can take daily, making each post about a different reason to oppose, from the seven we provide above. This can help recruit more folks to take action while also getting out messages about all the problems with this merger.

We may add or revise this strategy as we hear from people with more social media chops than Roxanne or I. If you have suggestions about social media or other strategies outlined in this post, please write to RetakeResponse@gmail.com.


Letters to the Editor

For a Letter to the Editor, you will want to pick one or two primary points and document them with evidence from above. Your purpose in writing the letter is to motivate readers to take action, so we recommend referring people to this page: retakeourdemocracy.org/avangrid/

First we provide very general guidelines for writing a letter to the editor, then we offer two sample letters. Feel free to copy one of these samples and make a few changes to make it your own.

When you sign your name, always list your city of residence and PRC District, as illustrated below in the two sample letters.


Sample Letters to the Editor

Sample 1

There are scores of reasons for denying the PNM-Avangrid merger, but one of the most compelling comes from the PRC Hearing Examiner, who recommends denial of the merger, but then gives Commissioners 20 conditions that could provide some protections to consumers if Commissioners disregard the recommendation and approve the merger. It is striking that he warns that, “Even assuming the adoption of protections that appear sufficient, including protections to ensure service quality and reliability, the Commission will need to devote considerable enforcement resources to ensure that Avangrid, Inc. and PNM comply with those protections.” (p. 51). Given  that the PRC, like other agencies in New Mexico, already lacks human and financial resources, effective oversight and regulation could become impossible. Why would we welcome a corporation that has a track record of deceit like Avangrid? If you are outraged that this merger could still be approved, go to retakeourdemocracy.org/avangrid/ where Retake Our Democracy has developed  a detailed guide for effectively raising your voice on this merger. [162 words]

NAME, Las Cruces, PRC District 5

Sample 2

There are scores of reasons for denying the PNM-Avangrid merger, but one of the most compelling comes from the Hearing Examiner, who devoted significant time addressing the risks inherent in inviting a company with a track record of criminal and unethical behavior into our state, including the ongoing criminal investigation of Iberdrola executives for bribery and forgery and the harassment of people adverse to Avangrid/Iberdrola’s money making machine. He points out specifically that “Hiring of security companies to investigate and harass a utility’s opponents might not be illegal in New Mexico, but it does go beyond the norms considered appropriate here.” And then goes on to state: “The issue of document falsification is even more significant. Much of utility regulation involves the review of documents prepared and maintained by utilities. This is important for enforcement and for the discovery process associated with utility rate cases and requests of resource acquisitions.” (p. 147). If you are outraged that this merger could still be approved, Retake Our Democracy has developed a detailed guide for effectively raising your voice on this merger at retakeourdemocracy.org/avangrid/ [182 words]

NAME, Albuquerque, PRC District 1

Obviously if you choose to use either of these letters as starting points, you will need to edit them to conform with your media outlet’s word limit criteria and to tinker enough with the wording so that news outlets don’t receive multiple ‘cookie-cutter ‘ letters.

If your newspaper requires submitting in an online form, we recommend you craft your letter or op-ed in a word processing program and then copy and paste your finished product.  

NM Media Outlets

Click here to view a page with submission information for the top ten NM media outlets, followed by a listing of a significant number of smaller local publications (not to be overlooked).  Rules change periodically, so it might be a good idea to check with your media outlet to confirm word limits and submission process.

Thank you for your efforts


%d bloggers like this: