In May and June we filed objections to PNM and Avangrid/Iberdrola's abuse of the confidentiality designation to hide unflattering facts from the public.
We argued that the PRC, an elected body, and the public, cannot determine whether the merger is in the public interest without understanding the terms and financial implications of the agreement. Transparency is critical to protecting the public from corporate abuse and exploitation.
We just won on both counts. In a July 1st Order and a July 6th Order, the Hearing Examiner denied the Joint Applicants request for confidentiality, writing:
The Joint Applicants provide no factual information to demonstrate that any of the information has the economic value required to qualify as a trade secret. They also provide no factual information to demonstrate how any of the information has the potential to affect PNMR's stock price.
THE PUBLIC DESERVES TO KNOW: The documents now made public because of our victory included the preliminary proposal letter between PNM's CEO and Avangrid. The preliminary proposal letter memorializes, from the very beginning of the Iberdrola/Avangrid and PNMR/PNM relationship, that:
A) Four Corners divestiture was/is a requirement even when PNM's strategy is to offload its shares onto NTEC, where the plant will continue to burn coal, and try to get $300 million from New Mexican ratepayers for PNM's imprudent investment in the plant. B) Iberdrola will not accept an independent governing Board or the local oversight it would bring; C) Parent Company, Iberdrola, is very much directing the transaction.
PNM and Avangrid/Iberdrola argued that these documents contain "trade secrets" and might impact the company's stock price.
NEE successfully argued that the only "secrets" these documents contain are facts that PNM and Avangrid/Iberdrola would rather not publicize lest it affect public opinion.