Today the NM Public Regulation Commission voted 5-0 to approve abandonment of PNM's ratepayers' share in the San Juan Generating Station. After a fifteen year fight to close the plant and end the desecration of the land, water, air, and health of the community in solidarity with frontline activists, New Energy Economy celebrates this decision and supports this finding. Our prayer is that the Diné community and long term residents of the area that have suffered from this toxic plant for almost fifty years will breathe a little easier and begin the long journey toward healing. There is no excuse for the sacrifices the community has had to endure and we will continue to support our organizers on the ground as they work to define and pursue a path toward justice.
Similarly, we will continue to challenge the erosion of our regulatory protections and the unconstitutional process that gave the PRC no choice but to vote 5-0 to approve the securitization of $361 million in Energy Transition Bonds. PNM was granted their proposal in full despite the objections of many parties. The provisions in the ETA that erode PRC oversight ensured that PNM was awarded 100% of their requested cost recovery.
New Energy Economy and partners will challenge the unconstitutional provisions of the ETA. As you recall, the Supreme Court ruled that the abandonment case was filed by PNM after the ETA was approved by the legislature and therefore, the PRC was required to apply the ETA to the case. You will also recall that they did not rule on the constitutionality of the law. These issues remain unsettled so New Energy Economy and partners will now bring them before the Courts through the regular channels of an appeal.
"The PRC had no choice under the Energy Transition Act (ETA) but to approve PNM's request for financing in its entirety because the PRC's authority was stripped from them by the Legislature and the Governor, at the request of PNM. As the Hearing Examiners' recommended decision found: the ETA constrains the PRC's ability to adjust or modify or limit PNM's request for recovery, enabling PNM to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars from ratepayers as “compensation” for closing an unprofitable coal plant, despite the reasonable and compelling objections of many parties. Especially in these challenging economic times, to shower PNM with money - even as more than a dozen parties objected to the basis for that money - describing PNM's requests as unreliable and unsubstantiated - is a travesty of justice. We have no other choice but to protect ratepayers and appeal the constitutionality of the ETA because it allows PNM, a monopoly, to bill the ratepayers without regulatory oversight and without any due process for ratepayers," stated Mariel Nanasi, Executive Director, New Energy Economy.