SB 489 is up for debate this Saturday. Please email or call to let us know you'll be there. We aim to guarantee there is adequate representation in both hearing rooms. Please contact Miles at 989-7262 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Arrive at 8AM to sign up to speak and get a seat.
Senate Bill 489 Energy Transition Act (Oppose if not Amended) Hearing at 9AM Saturday - March 2, 2019 Capitol Room 322
Senate Bill 492 - Ratepayer Relief Act (Support!) Tentatively moved to 9AM Tuesday, March 5, 2019 Capitol Room 311
Essence of the message for SB 489 - This is a defining moment for New Mexico's energy future. PNM understands this, as do we.
There are two paths open before New Mexico:
PATH #1 - Monopoly Expansion
SB 489 doubles down on PNM's monopoly and places full trust in them to take us toward renewables in an expensive and wasteful manner, similar to what they have done for the last 50 years, only now with PNM-owned gas, nuclear, solar, wind, and storage (instead of coal). This is the path we've been on that sacrifices the health and traditional lifeways of indigenous peoples in the Four Corners area, pollutes air, land and water and has helped us to arrive at this moment of climate and economic crisis.
PNM's residential rates are the highest in the region.
Energy companies have more money today than at any time since money was invented. Energy companies have been able to undermine our democracy because, for very little money, they buy influence over candidates and politicians. And New Mexico is a cheap date. The investment is working. Politicians are poised to take a vote that allows:
PNM to be bailed out for their bad business decisions (without any vetting or oversight by the PRC, the Constitutionally mandated regulatory agency responsible for protecting the public interest against the electric monopoly) This insulates PNM from being held accountable.
PNM to own all replacement power - which will stunt the renewable energy market in New Mexico and cost us more (because PNM's shareholder investors earn a return on equity of 10% on all their assets) and these energy resources will be located in Farmington, not near PNM's customer load - and be less efficient, less reliable, and deliver our electricity at a higher cost.
Consumer protections laws to be weakened, making it harder for environmental and consumer advocates to fight against PNM's proposed gas and nuclear (which is not only polluting, but is unnecessary and more costly).
Read our technical / legal analysis on SB489 [PDF]
PATH #2 We have people power!
New Mexico can follow the lead of Picuris Pueblo that built a one megawatt solar array and, as of March 2018, has been providing 100% day-time solar power to the entire Picuris Pueblo. Surplus power is sold to Kit Carson co-operative for its members that live in the Peñasco valley, providing them with inexpensive solar energy.
Already Picuris has used money from the sale of solar energy to lower electricity costs for Pueblo members and allowed them to reinvest electricity funds back into their community – a new baseball diamond, hiking and biking trails, a summer camp that will open next summer for Picuris children and their neighbors, and pay for construction of a new tourist / travel center. Learn more about the array at Picuris, and how it works HERE.
SB 492 - This model legislation protects consumers and is supported by bonafide experts in the fields of energy utility law and finance from across the country.
READ our one-pager on SB492 [PDF]
SB 492, The Ratepayer Relief Act, is a stand alone financing tool that can actually provide a transparent and public process to reduce ratepayer bills. SB 492 will require securitization bonding only if it is proven that bonding provides tangible and quantifiable benefits to consumers. The bill grants PRC authority to review all aspects of a securitization application under the "public interest standard" and ensures that bonding results in "just and reasonable rates".
SB 492 empowers the Public Regulation Commission to approve financing orders following a hearing, not before, as SB 489 demands, based on the merits when a utility seeks to recover stranded investment costs and other PNM costs of >$400 million resulting from their abandonment at San Juan Generating Station.
We support SB 492 and say YES, to energy by and for the people! YES, to creating LOCAL WEALTH!
The stand-alone securitization bill can be advanced alongside the stand-alone Renewable Portfolio Standard Bill that has been pulled from the legislative process to make way for SB 489.
If we all came together - the Governor, Democratic legislators, enviros, frontline impacted communities, consumer advocates, renewable energy business, and concerned New Mexicans from all walks of life - we could certainly get the RPS passed.
This alternative path would mean that the Abandonment proceeding on San Juan Generating Station, scheduled for this summer, would go forward unhindered - with securitization as a tool on the table. It also means that issues regarding decommissioning & remediation, economic recovery, and worker retraining can be legislated in next year's session AFTER evidence regarding the impacts of the plant's operation and its closure have been vetted in a full-blown case at the PRC that includes proper consultation and needs-assessment with indigenous and other impacted communities.
In the grassroots movement - there is always emphasis on the process, and on how power is distributed in both the process and the outcome. HOW we transition will determine whether or not the transition is just.
We have an alternative path before us. Do we have the courage to take it?
This is about dignity.
This is about ownership.
This is about responsibility for our energy consumption.
This is about community and local decision-making.
It's about the 99%, not the 1%.
If your particular concern is about low-cost local solar energy, or coal ash, or good government, or climate change, or community - your comments are essential. Please call our office. We are looking to make sure that there is adequate representation in both hearing rooms. Please contact Miles at 989-7262 or email email@example.com