Today the Hearing Examiner issued an Order in the PNM/Avangrid/Iberdrola merger case: 90% a result of the actions of Iberdrola/Avangrid in Spain, Maine and in NM - 10% because New Energy Economy asked the right questions and connected the dots. The Hearing Examiner's far-reaching Order may have momentous implications. It may force Iberdrola Executives to choose whether to answer fully and completely, to take the 5th Amendment, appeal the Hearing Examiner's Order, or face sanctions for refusal to comply.
The Hearing Examiner granted New Energy Economy’s Motion to Compel discovery and ordered Iberdrola, the Spanish parent of Avangrid, to explain what the Spanish criminal investigation into Iberdrola and its top management is all about. In other words, stop hiding the ball. The Hearing Examiner said that since Iberdrola and Avangrid have presented themselves to New Mexicans as transparent and highly ethical, they need to explain why Iberdrola and its top management are currently under investigation in Iberdrola’s home country, Spain, for bribery, falsification of documents and corporate spying. The Hearing Examiner agreed with New Energy Economy that the people of New Mexico are entitled to know what this is all about before New Mexicans invite them to take over PNM’s monopoly. Are they transparent and ethical? Or are they criminals?
Avangrid took over the power company in Maine and the result there appears to strongly suggest that we don’t want them here; both because of their shady behavior and the lousy service they provide. It is suspect that the Attorney General continues to speak out in favor of the merger, contrary to his own experts' judgment that the merger is not in the public interest, and that he has not questioned the extensive criminal investigation in Spain, or considered Maine’s experience. The merger will cost ratepayers many hundreds of millions of dollars they shouldn’t have to pay and may result in the kind of abysmal customer service and brownouts and blackouts experienced in Maine. We deserve better.