We just finished the final day of the Replacement Power Hearing and to be honest, we are feeling really concerned about the state of our world. Not only is the climate in crisis but those in power continue to cede everything to the corporations, consolidate power, and erode our democracy. Are we talking about the Impeachment Hearing? We certainly could be! There's no doubt that the Senate Hearing is casting a disturbing light on this week's energy decisions in New Mexico. The Supreme Court decision, the introduction of the PRC reform bill, and the conclusion of the replacement power hearing all feel eerily in step with the atmosphere of plutocracy in our country.
As we shared with you earlier this week, one of the first revelations of the evidentiary hearing was that PNM had rigged the process once again - they admitted they've been working on plans for their proposed gas plant since 2013 and that all of the alternative scenarios they compared against were based on bids from other energy producers that expired in December. Given this admission, we were well positioned to argue that PNM has not met their burden of proof. Period.
But instead of holding PNM accountable, other parties in the case and the Hearing Examiners allowed PNM to skirt the rules by going back to the bidders now - AFTER the case has ended - and ask which bidders are willing to extend the terms of their responses. Nevermind the fact that this will eliminate some providers. Nevermind the fact that the price of renewables has dropped considerably since their 2 year old initial bids. Nevermind rules and regulations and due process.
Nevermind the working class and low-income New Mexicans and frontline communities who will bear the brunt of these decisions. How so? By giving cover to PNM instead of holding them to the burden of proof required by the law, these parties are increasing the likelihood that PNM's gas plant proposal will be approved.
Listen to Western Resource Advocates' lawyer, Steve Michel, trying to get our expert witness, award-winning climate journalist and writer Dahr Jamail to agree with him that a gas plant is a good idea.
Listen to Dahr describe just how dangerous a proposition any new fossil investment is and join us for a discussion with him this Sunday at Collected Works at 11AM.