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Appointed PRC would be more professional

However and whenever you vote in the next few weeks, keep filling in those ovals all the way down to the constitutional amendment question on this year’s general election ballot.

For not only is voting for candidates most consequential, so, too, is your vote to approve the conversion of the Public Regulation Commission from an elected body of five commissioners to an appointed body of three commissioners.

Of the dozens and dozens of commissions in state government, only two currently are elected, the PRC and the Public Education Commission. All the rest are populated by women and men appointed by the governor, often with the concurrence of the Senate. Appointed commissioners are preferred because they are experts in their fields, not politicians.

The proposed amendment, should it pass, directs the Legislature to create an appointing panel to come up with a list of qualified nominees to give to the Governor. She or he would then select a person from that list to serve a six-year term on the commission. The Senate would then confirm the appointment.

The Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter has endorsed dozens of candidates for state House and Senate seats, along with two candidates for the PRC this year, Cynthia Hall and Joseph Maestas. We are also supporting the constitutional amendment because we feel that a more professional body lends itself to carrying out the Energy Transition Act’s targets for a renewable energy-based electricity market while protecting the poor from unreasonable rate increases.

For more information on the amendment, go to Vote for the constitutional amendment and help turn New Mexico into the renewable energy powerhouse we all deserve.

Ken Hughes of Santa Fe is transportation chair of the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter.

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