Hello Ms. Collawn,
- Is balanced, with shared financial responsibilities among ratepayers and shareholders,
- Provides assurances of the most cost--effective approaches with competitive bidding for generation; and
- Fosters a just economic transition for impacted communities with guarantees related to job development, property tax loss replacement;.and complete rendition of sites and surrounding environs.
New Energy Economy files its appeal in the New Mexico Supreme Court
against the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission for approving $150 Million in costs from ratepayers for the Four Corners coal plant despite a finding against
PNM for “imprudence” by two Hearing Examiners and the full CommissionRead more
We are so grateful to all of you who stepped up to stop Senate Bill 47 in the Conservation Committee on Saturday. Your support in big and small ways is what made the difference. As you know the stakes are so high with this bill. We wish we could say that together we secured a definitive victory -- but the truth is PNM is desperate to get the bill passed - because they stand to gain so much, at our expense.
We are grateful that our elected officials raised the critical issues that deserve resolution, listened to the concerns of the people, and have thus far stood strong.
We've heard that PNM is relentlessly lobbying and is using their usual fear-mongering tactics in order to justify their attempt to circumvent the regulatory process and strip the PRC of its ability to impose public interest conditions (i.e. ratepayer protections) to the financing order. PNM is saying such protections would make the bonds "unmarketable".
Yet this is the standard for Regulation Commissions in states where bonding authority has been approved throughout the country. In 38 out of 50 securitization bond transactions across the U.S. since 2001, the state utility commission had the authority to require public interest conditions such as “lowest cost objective” or due diligence standards & use of an independent financial advisor to oversee and condition the bond transactions. Having these protections in place ensures that the utility secures the best available price for ratepayers under current market conditions & that the savings to customers exceed their fees. Hmmm....no wonder PNM is fighting them.
The three remaining issues in the bill that MUST be addressed in order for us to shift our position against it are:
1) The bill still strips the PRC of its ability to impose basic ratepayer protection standards on the bond transactions.
2) The bill grants PNM ownership of replacement power, regardless of the cost and allows them to select the energy supply, regardless of the legal standards of resource acquisition.
3) The bill inadequately addresses the needs of indigenous and local communities and workers whose health has been impacted by the plant for decades and now are impacted economically by its closure.
4) The bill allows PNM and its shareholders to recoup the costs of clean-up from ratepayers and evade their own responsibility for the toxic waste site they have created.
We will remain vigilant on this bill and keep you updated.
Meanwhile, we are continuing to educate New Mexicans about the risks and apply public pressure. In today's Reporter, the below ad will run.
Can you contribute $5 or $25 or $50 to help us defray the costs of the ad?
Investing in a Just Transition Means Trusting Those Who Are Most Directly Impacted to Lead:
Watch Kim's powerful statement at Saturday's Senate Conservation Hearing.
As she states, she was the only Indigenous Voice in the Hearing.
Thank you everyone who filled the chairs in the Senate Chambers and supported us in the gallery. The public support was impressive, effective and critical!!!
This is only round one: and the people won!!
But as we know, PNM will not stop. If passed, this bill would have expanded their monopoly to own all replacement power generation and a lot of money is at stake. If PNM would have been successful the ratepayers' bills would skyrocket and they would have been out from under the consumer protection standards of prudence and cost effectiveness. This is really what this bill was about. To see Mariel's presentation about the anti-competitive nature of PNM's bill watch HERE.
Senators Cervantes and Wirth were troubled by the elimination of competition in the bill and they understood the dire implications for New Mexico's ratepayers - that PNM ownership costs us far more for the same energy resources. Senators Stefanics, Soules and McSorley joined to create a majority that tabled the bill. Senator Martinez joined the three Republicans in support of the bill. Senator McSorley dragged himself to this committee hearing despite his terrible illness because he understood the gravity of this decision and his pivotal vote.
PNM will try and make a deal to resuscitate this bill and we must remain vigilant.
We need to be able to count on you to pack the gallery if the bill comes up again.
A million thanks to all who testified, wrote letters, made phone calls, signed petitions, visited legislators!! Thanks also to all the organizations who were with us.
Standing together we can defeat this bill.
The New Energy Economy team
Let’s not rush energy bond bill
- The Santa Fe New Mexican, February 1, 2018
With the shutdown of the San Juan Generating Station, PNM is leaving behind some $353 million in investment — so-called stranded costs that can no longer be recovered. Previously, the coal-fired plant in northwest New Mexico was to close in 2053; the market has altered that goal, leading PNM to realize that the plant no longer makes financial sense. Now, PNM wants to shut the plant down some three decades earlier, by 2022, leaving behind the dollars it would have made with the plant up and running.
But how to recover those dollars? Enter Senate Bill 47 and House Bill 80, the Energy Redevelopment Bond. The legislation has bipartisan support but broad opposition from a variety of consumer and energy groups. More than 40 groups are opposing the bill, which would allow PNM to recover its stranded investments by floating low-cost bonds. In the Senate, Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, and Sen. Steven Neville, R-San Juan, are sponsors. The House version is sponsored by Democratic Rep. Bobby Gonzales of Taos and GOP Minority Whip Rod Montoya of Farmington.
While we will not go so far as to call the legislation a “bailout” of an irresponsible energy producer, the issues in this legislation are complicated and far-reaching. They deserve a wider discussion than is likely to happen during a short legislative session.
At the heart of the conversation must be consideration of how best to support the Four Corners region as it transitions away from an economy based on fossil fuels, as well as keep rates down for consumers. It is unfair for ratepayers to shoulder too great a portion of the costs for the company’s abandoned investments.
PNM’s closure of the San Juan Generating Station will have economic ripple effects, not just for PNM but for the entire state, especially the Four Corners region. Any legislation that allows PNM to recover its costs through issuing bonds must contain the strongest protections for the region, with focus on investments that will lead to jobs and steady economic support for the area.
This bill is an important step in determining ways to pay for the transition from coal to other kinds of energy, but 30 days might not be enough time to debate its long-term implications. This is too important to rush.