Press Release: PNM’s Investments “Short-Sighted and Imprudent”

April 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:           Mariel Nanasi, Executive Director and Attorney for New Energy Economy –505.469.4060
Date:                April 15, 2011

PNM’s Investments “Short-Sighted and Imprudent”
Cost Recovery Should Be Denied

Santa Fe – New Energy Economy filed its expert witness’ testimony against PNM’s proposed stipulation for the largest rate increases in New Mexico history. Calling PNM’s expenditures for environmental upgrades “short-sighted” and “imprudent” and “unnecessarily duplicative and economically wasteful” William Steinhurst, a Mechanical Engineer and Ratemaking Policy Expert, testified that PNM should be denied cost recovery in the proposed rate hike. Costs that are unnecessarily duplicative and economically wasteful are “a clear abuse of discretion by the management of an enterprise entrusted with the public good and, so, imprudent for that reason.”

PNM has admitted that any delay in action to control carbon and other toxic emissions increases the risk of unavoidable consequences that could necessitate even steeper reductions in the future, yet they have failed to meaningfully plan to repower their coal plants or invest in renewable energy. PNM produces 3.8 million tons of carbon pollution a year from its San Juan Generating Station and 800,000 tons of carbon pollution a year from its Four Corners plant! PNM is responsible for 51% of all carbon pollution in the state. “PNM has gambled and lost with the hard-earned money New Mexico families and businesses must pay for electricity. PNM has built its business strategy on a failed bet that they could continue to pollute our air and water at egregious levels. The bill for this reckless, short-term greed has come due and PNM’s overpaid executives expect all of us to pay for their free ride. PNM’s corporate malfeasance is only matched by their abuse of public trust, said Mariel Nanasi, Executive Director of New Energy Economy. No reasonable decision can be made on the future viability of these coal plants without explicitly addressing each of the current and likely regulations in a consistent and cohesive manner and evaluating their combined impact on the costs and operations of the plants, as well as how that impact affects rates and the public interest, including externalized health costs to New Mexicans.

It is the declared policy of the state that the public interest requires the regulation and supervision of PNM by the PRC and that the rate increases shall be available at “fair, just and reasonable rates.” The testimony filed today by New Energy Economy accuses PNM of failing to meet this burden.

Click here to read the expert witness’s testimony.

About New Energy Economy

New Energy Economy is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization established in 2004 to create economic opportunity in New Mexico with less carbon pollution and more clean energy. New Energy Economy works in partnership with diverse allies to encourage job growth, investment and innovation in a more efficient, sustainable and equitable energy sector. New Energy Economy grounds its work in the research and findings of the world’s leading scientific and technological authorities. Learn more at www.newenergyeconomy.org

http://newenergyeconomy.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/NM-Steinhurst-testimony-AS-DELIVERED.pdf

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