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NM Advocacy Watch

 

The foundation for serious Advocacy efforts is accurate & reliable INFORMATION.

 

     Being well-informed takes commitment & work.  Energy-related issues are complex, often highly political and/or ideological, and almost always closely tied to state & national economic interests and global environmental issues.

     In New Mexico, the Public Regulatory Commission (PRC) regulates all public utilities & electric co-operatives.  "Hot" energy issues & initiatives in NM often center on PRC interpretations & decisions with respect to NM State statutes.  The State Legislature writes the statutes - the PRC interprets & implements them.

     It's important to keep in mind that "official" documents & testimony submitted to the PRC by Utilities and/or other lobbying organizations are designed to influence PRC decisions in favor of a particular position or legal outcome that is advantageous to that particular utility or organization.  PRC submittals & testimony should not be assumed to be "fair & balanced" & objective.  Each party is arguing its case, as best it can, to favor its own objectives.  The arguments are sometimes intentionally confusing, misleading & even inaccurate. 

     The current "hot energy-related topics" listed below include links to "official" PRC documents and/or related editorials & articles & presentations.

 

The 2014 PNM IRP (20 yr Integrated Resource Plan Update)

  • The PRC requires PNM to go thru this "Planning" exercise every 3 years.

  • The result isn't new rules or regs, just PNM's take on what the future holds.

  • It can be fascinating reading because it occasionally reveals what PNM executives really think about all this RE & energy efficiency stuff that they're being "forced" to comply with.

  • For background information, here's a SunPaper article about the 2011 PNM IRP

  • If you're short on not-so-light reading material, here's the link to the 2014 PNM IRP document – all 203 pages of it :    https://www.pnm.com/documents/396023/396193/PNM+2014+IRP/bdccdd52-b0bc-480b-b1d6-cf76c408fdfc 

  •  Here's a SunPaper article about the 2014 PNM IRP

The San Juan Generating Station/EPA Settlement

  • Better than all coal-fired, but - - -

  • PNM's Proposal was submitted to the PRC on Feb 5, 2014. 

  • A serious effort was made to "negotiate" an agreement among the litigants. 

  • Six organizations "signed off" on the agreement in late 2014 but as additional information and major cost concerns emerged, three of those organizations withdrew their support in January 2015.

  • New Energy Economy led the opposition to the PNM Proposal

  • Formal PRC Hearings were concluded in late January 2015

The 2014 PNM Rate Case

  • PNM always requests a big rate increase.  The PRC always gives them less than they ask for.

  • The PV Interconnect Rate Rider Zombie Returns!  This could kill residential PV in NM.

  • The formal rate case proposal was submitted to the NMPRC in Mid-December 2014.

  • Here's a link to the rate case proposal documents

  •  Here is a (growing) list of articles related to the 2014 PNM Rate Case

  • These are PowerPoint Presentations about the 2014 PNM Rate Case

The Pushback Against Energy Efficiency & RE in NM & Across the Country

  • The Martinez Admin-appointed NM Construction Industries Commission rolled back building energy efficiency standards adopted by the previous Commission.

  • The Martinez Admin-appointed NM State Environmental Improvement Board rolled back the modest requirement to reduce CO2 emissions passed by the previous Board.

  • The NM PRC attempted to cut NM Renewable Portfolio Standards for PV in half in late 2013.

  • ​Here is a link to a SunPaper article about the Utility Lobby's efforts to reverse RE mandates

Electric Utility Decoupling

  • Electric utilities have a business model based on generating & selling electricity - the more the better

  • Electricity rate charges often cover both "variable costs" which depend on how much electricity is used, and "fixed costs" which don't depend on how much electricity is used.

  • Energy efficiency initiatives reduce the demand for their "product", and cut their income & profits

  • Decoupling proposals try to reduce utilities' dependency on selling electricity to cover fixed costs.

  • If you want even more info about Decoupling, click HERE