Q&A: Public Regulation Commission District 3 Joseph Maestas

1) Why are you running for a seat on the commission? I’m running to put my qualifications, experience, and leadership to work for NM. I served on other governing bodies as an Española and Santa Fe City Councilor; and Mayor of Española. I will apply my skills to solve PRC problems as a licensed engineer with over 30 years of experience.

2) What are some specific goals you want to accomplish as a commissioner? Unify the executive and legislative branches to transform the PRC into a quality regulatory organization and share a vision for a path to a clean energy future. Ensure the PRC receives adequate, consistent funding. Modernize the PRC and electric grid. Fully and fairly implement key, energy-related State legislation.

3) What are your thoughts about the new Energy Transmission Act, and how would you work to balance both utility and consumer interests as the state transitions away from fossil fuels to renewable resources and carbon-free generation? Law requires the PRC to balance interests of ratepayers and utilities; and ensure service is adequate, efficient, and reasonable. I support the ETA’s renewable energy goals to achieve a clean energy future and close coal power plants. I will fight for consumers through advocacy and expanded energy efficiency and management.

4) Voters will decide in November on a constitutional amendment to change the five-member elected commission to a three-member body appointed by the governor. What are your thoughts about the proposal? Our democracy is under threat so I can’t support the removal of voters’ voice in selecting their PRC Commissioners whose decisions affect their daily lives. As the great grandson of a Constitutional Delegate, we must stop the piecemeal constitutional amendments. Utility rates are low because regulatory commissioners are elected.

5) The PRC operates as a quasi-judicial body that requires commissioners to possess specialized knowledge and experience to function fairly and efficiently in the public’s interest. In your opinion, what are those needed qualities, and how do you personally meet the qualifications? I have a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering. I’m a licensed engineer with over 30 years of experience as a Federal engineer/regulator. I served on elected governing bodies for 14 years which are quasi-judicial. I possess the needed qualities of experienced leadership, pragmatic judgement, and high work ethic.

6) Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens? No.

7) Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding? No.

8) Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state? If so, explain. No.