July 22, 2011
Contact: Mariel Nanasi 505-469-4060
EIB in Apparent Collusion with PNM
Utility Pushes Backdoor Deal to Repeal Carbon Pollution Reduction Law
Santa Fe – New Energy Economy filed a motion today in New Mexico State Supreme Court that highlights apparent collusion between major polluters, led by the state’s largest utility, PNM, and Governor Martinez’s Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) to repeal the state’s carbon pollution reduction law. New Energy Economy’s motion was triggered by legal documents filed July 19th by PNM in the New Mexico Court of Appeals. PNM’s filing asked the Court of Appeals to stay its appeal because PNM would file a new Petition to repeal the carbon pollution reduction law before the EIB.
‘This convoluted legal maneuvering indicates PNM is clearly attempting another backroom deal with Governor Martinez’s EIB to dismantle the carbon pollution reduction law,’ said Mariel Nanasi, New Energy Economy’s Executive Director. ‘PNM is rightfully worried that the courts will not allow them to simply change a law and subvert the public interest without attention to the economic and scientific facts behind the law. New Mexico families and businesses deserve better than runaway electricity rate hikes, pollution rates among the highest in America and collusion behind closed doors.’
The New Mexico Environmental Law Center filed the motion today on behalf of New Energy Economy. “I’ve never seen such overt shameless collusion between an agency and the regulated entities it purports to regulate,” said Bruce Frederick, Attorney for New Energy Economy.
In addition to PNM, parties listed in the legal filings as opposed to the law include the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, Independent Petroleum Association, El Paso Electric and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.
The New Mexico Supreme Court will hear New Energy Economy’s Writ of Superintending Control on Wednesday July 27, 2011, 237 Don Gaspar Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501.
New Energy Economy and the New Mexico Environmental Law Center led a two-year public process that led to the creation of New Mexico’s landmark carbon reduction law. The rule requires facilities that emit more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon pollution per year to reduce these emissions by 3 percent per year from 2010 levels starting in 2013. The law has been lauded by national experts for its capacity to improve New Mexico’s energy security by means of predictability, market-based mechanisms and extensive compliance flexibility. An economic analysis released in February indicated the carbon pollution reduction law has the potential to add 17,500 family-supporting jobs in New Mexico’s electric sector and add more than $2 billion in total added economic value to New Mexico’s families and businesses.