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(a definition from

To speak or write in favor of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly.

Synonyms: support for, backing of, promotion of, championing of.


But there's more to Advocacy than this simple definition suggests. 

To learn what Advocacy really means for a 501(C)3 like NMSEA, click HERE.


NMSEA Takes Advocacy Seriously!!


     San Juan 4sm.jpg



NM Advocacy Watch

Updated 3/1/16


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.  Please use this info to "fuel" your own advocacy efforts.


Hot Energy-Related Topics

The 2014 PNM IRP (20 yr Integrated Resource Plan)

  • 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 : 

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

The San Juan Generating Station/EPA Settlement

The 2014 PNM Rate Case - Now the 2015 PNM Rate Case

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

  • In 2011 the Martinez Admin-appointed NM Construction Industries Commission rolled back building energy efficiency standards adopted by the previous Commission.

  • In 2011 the Martinez Admin-appointed NM State Environmental Improvement Board rolled back the modest requirement to reduce CO2 emissions passed by the previous Board.

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

  • In the 2015 NM Legislative session, a bill to eliminate NM's requirement for 20% RE by 2020 was passed by the House, but died in Committee in the Senate.

  • In April 2015 Gov Martinez vetoed a bill that would have extended NM's Solar Tax Credits.

  • In January 2016 the NM State Legislature failed to pass an extension of NM's Solar Tax Credits.

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

Electric Utility Regulation

  • This can be a fascinating (but somewhat complicated) public policy subject. 

  • For lots more info click on this link to go to our Dedicated E-Utility Regulation Page.

  • Click on this link to go to the Online NMSEA "Discussion Forum" on E-Utility regulation.

NMSEA Advocacy Activities Summary

Last Update :  Jan 2015  GV

 (most recent listing on top)


Jan/Feb SunPaper
      PNM's War on New Mexicans : Gary Vaughn


Nov/Dec SunPaper
      PNM 2014 IRP : Gary Vaughn

Jan/Feb SunPaper

      NMIEC Sways NM PRC on Solar : Ron Herman

      What's Wrong with the NMIEC? : Gary Vaughn

      Renewable Energy Diversity Targets Work : Jason Marks (former PRC Commissioner)



Nov/Dec SunPaper

      Comments for Sept 10 PRC Public Hearing : Gary Vaughn

      PRC Proposal Reverses RE Act : Randy Sadewic

      PNM's Support of Solar Part of Transparent Public Record : Ron Darnel - VP PNM

      Rebuttal of the PNM Reply : Janet Bridgers

      Should We Own the Power Company?  : Ron Herman


Oct 7  Albuquerque Journal Op-Ed

      Solar energy in NM makes a lot of sense – and cents  :  Athena Christodoulou


Oct Green Fire Times

      PNM's Support of Solar Part of Transparent Public Record : Ron Darnell, PNM VP,

      responding to Sept GFT article by J Bridgers

      Janet Bridger's Response  (rebuttal to Darnell's article above)


Sept 10 

      NM PRC Public Hearing on Diversity Rule & Avoided Cost Rule

                3 minute public comments by Randy Sadewic, Athena Christodoulou, and Gary Vaughn


Sept Green Fire Times

      Junk Food – Junk Energy : Gary Vaughn

      PNM Again Threatens Survival of New Mexico Solar Industries : Janet Bridgers


Sept/Oct SunPaper

      Disruptive Challenges : Gary Vaughn

      PNM Again Threatens Survival of Solar Industries : Janet Bridgers

      Immediate Energy Solutions : Ron Herman

      The World as Pigsty : Francis de Winter  (from ASES Solar Today)


Jul/Aug SunPaper

      The Big Gorilla : Charles Bensinger

      Junk Food – Junk Energy : Gary Vaughn

      Resolarizing the Modern Food System : Ragan Matteson


Mar/Apr SunPaper

      Natural Gas for San Juan : Ron Herman


Jan/Feb SunPaper

      Technological Betrayal of Clotheslines, Skylights and …  : Steve Baer

      Resilience and Renewables : Joy Hughes 

      NMSEA Letter in Support of (San Juan) Settlement : Monte Ogdahl



Oct Green Fire Times

      Benchmarking Empowerment : Gary Vaughn


Sept/Oct SunPaper

      General Election – November 6  : Ron Herman

      Thank You PNM?, By Athena Christodoulou

      Benchmarking Empowerment : Gary Vaughn


July/Aug SunPaper 

      A Modest Proposal : Gary Vaughn & Ron Herman (re: the San Juan Generating Station/EPA Plan)


July Green Fire Times

      World Renewable Energy Forum 2012  :  Mark Chalom


June 6-12 Santa Fe Reporter

      PNM's Solar Dilemma  :  Wren Abbott (SFR)  [Gary Vaughn's interview comments quoted]


May/Jun SunPaper

      Is an EV or PHEV Good for the Environments & Your Pocketbook : Monte Ogdahl

      How Bad Is It?  : Ron Herman


Mar/Apr SunPaper   

      The End of Pretend : Gary Vaughn

      More on PNM Thinking : Ron Herman


Jan/Feb SunPaper     

      Adios, Solyndra : Gary Vaughn



Nov/Dec SunPaper

      Thinking Like PNM : Gary Vaughn 


Sept/Oct SunPaper

      Groups Appeal Rollback of Energy Conservation Building Code : Tammy Fiebelkorn


July/Aug SunPaper

      CIC Rejects Efficiency Improvements : Gary Vaughn

      An Earth Builder's Letter to the CIC : Joe Tibbets


June 2   

      NM CIC Public Hearing - Testimony by 6 NMSEA members opposing Efficiency Code roll-back.

      Small portion of GV testimony shown on KRQE Channel 13


June 1   

      FAX on NMSEA letterhead to NM CIC opposing roll-back

      Multiple FAXs by NMSEA members to NM CIC opposing roll-back


May 31

      Albuquerque  Journal Op-Ed – "It's Not Right to Pick a Man's Pocket - - "  :  Gary Vaughn


May      RE: proposed NM Energy Efficiency Building Code Roll-back       

      Multiple emails to chapter leaders & members

      Silver City Chapter leaders meet with state Construction Industries Comm (CIC) rep

      Contact with Abq USGBC, SF Green Builders, Albuq AIA, Environment NM, SWEEP


April      RE:  the San Juan Generating Station / EPA Plan

      A Modest Proposal  - a letter to PRC Commissioner Jason Marks  : Gary Vaughn


Mar/Apr SunPaper

      Oil Up, PNM Electric Rates May Rise : Ron Herman

      Renewable Energy and Public Service : Gary Vaughn


Jan 26    

      J. Bridgers Abq Journal Op-Ed - "PNM Request Would Hurt Photovoltaic Industry"

      PRC Albuquerque Public Hearing on PNM Rate Case

                Testimony by 11 NMSEA members opposing the PV Interconnect Rider



      Howard Stephens rallies NMSEA to actively oppose the PNM PV grid interconnect rider.

      Info & PV rider opposition sample letter circulated to NMSEA members.

      Six page "PNM Rate Case Comments" document by G. Vaughn sent to PRC Commissioner Marks.


Jan/Feb SunPaper

      Policies May Retard PV Growth : Randy Sadewic



Nov/Dec SunPaper

      Solar Energy and Politics, and Sustaining NMSEA : Ron Herman


July/Aug SunPaper

      Large-scale PV Progress : Ron Herman


July Green Fire Times

      American Solar Energy Society National Conference 2010 : Mark Chalom


May/Jun SunPaper

      PNM Revised RE Plan : Ron Herman


Spring  2010    RE:  NM Tax Credit Policy re Passive Solar Homes

      R. Herman collaborates with Joe Tibbets re adobe building trades petition and proposes

      a town hall meeting to get input from the adobe industry.      

      NMSEA Board does not approve petition wording nor hosting town hall.


Jan      RE:  NM Tax Credit Policy re Passive Solar Homes

      R. Herman & J. Barrera meet with State Senator Dede Feldman, Mark Feldman (architect),

      and Susan Marbury (ECMD)

      Inquiries re  submitting draft legislation (but too late in the session)


Jan/Feb SunPaper

      NMSEA Advocates for Passive Solar  (Ron Herman & Gary Vaughn)



Dec 18   Albuquerque Journal Op-Ed -  Passive Solar Homes Need Level Playing Field : Gary Vaughn


Nov 2009    RE: NM Tax Credit Policy re Passive Solar Homes    

      G. Vaughn conversation with & letter to Cabinet Secretary Fred Mondragon, NM Econ Dev Div

      G.Vaughn letter to Tom Brandt PE, NM Environmental Health Division

      G. Vaughn letter to Raymond Hensley PE, NM Energy Efficiency Code Committee


Nov/Dec  SunPaper

      Reality Check : Ron Herman


Fall 2009     RE: NM Tax Credit Policy re Passive Solar Homes    

      NMSEA Meetings in SF with Mark Chalom, R. Herman, J. Barrera, C. Axness, M. Ogdahl,  K. Vicepts)


Sept/Oct Sunpaper

      PNM Changes Solar Programs : Ron Herman


July/Aug SunPaper

      HERS Ratings for Passive Solar : Ron Herman

      Town Hall Recommendations : Ron Herman


Summer 2009   RE:  NM Energy Policy

      R. Herman represents NMSEA at PNM "vendor's meetings" in August of 2009.

      R. Herman represents NMSEA at the New Mexico First Energy Town Hall Meeting at the Convention

      Center and various follow-up meetings and subsequently lists their recommendations in the

      July/August SunPaper.  

      R. Herman leads meetings of a small advocacy group, primarily Dick Oot and Carl Axness, to discuss

      energy policy issues.


Mar/Apr SunPaper

      Are Governments Helping? Or Not? : Ron Herman