Advocacy History

To speak or write in favor of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly.
Synonyms: support for, backing of, promotion of, championing of.

We champion solar and sustainability…..PERIOD!

NMSEA Takes Advocacy Seriously!!

NM Advocacy Watch History

Updated 3/1/16

The foundation for serious Advocacy efforts is accurate & reliable INFORMATION and ACTION!

 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