Pray the Supremes keep PNM local - Albuquerque Journal

Pray the Supremes keep PNM local

The N.M. Public Regulation Commission has joined with PNM, which it regulates, and Avangrid, mega out-of-state would-be PNM buyer, to ask the N.M. Supreme Court to dismiss the appeal denying the PNM purchase. Why? So the powers that be – who be they? – can see if they can get a different, preferred decision from the newly-appointed three-member PRC. Really, how unethical or worse is that request? Is New Mexico the only place where such a thing could take place? Is this an example of what Lew Wallace was talking about? Pray not.

With new PRC Commissioner and former PNM co-worker Pat O’Connell having recused himself from the PNM case, if it is remanded it will be a two-person vote. Does that coin toss, irrevocable decision sound like it’s in the best interest for PNM energy customers and New Mexico as a whole?

Why does the governor want the sale so much? Who can come forth with that information? Let the purifying light of day reveal all.

Remember, the previous five-member elected PRC voted unanimously to deny the PNM purchase. And let’s not forget that hearing examiner Ashley Schannauer also recommended denying the purchase, warning in the decision, “the potential harms of the proposed transaction outweigh the benefits.”

Shame on the dozens of pseudo intervenors who signed off on the PNM sale after they each received their one-time buyout promise. Especially the environmental groups. Sold their souls for a few coins. How many Judases are among us?

The PNM rank-and-file I have spoken to are not in favor of the purchase. Maybe it’s because of the many millions of dollars in reward the executives will receive after the purchase for selling out New Mexico. Maybe it’s because local management control will be gone – don’t believe what you’ve read about local management being in control – or customer services and community services will diminish, or energy rates will surely rise, or the highest-paying jobs will be moved out of New Mexico, or New Mexico will lose its only New York Stock Exchange-traded company. Keep it local.

Connecticut-based Avangrid and/or its parent company, Spain-based conglomerate Iberdola, have been charged with racketeering in New York, alleged fraud in Maine, and other problems in Mexico, Spain and who knows where else. Why bring such business practices to New Mexico?

Fewer and fewer mega companies control American critical infrastructure, and energy is no different. It goes against the desire of the American people. Such consolidation silences the local customer voice. That means you. The critical component of electricity infrastructure can be one important way New Mexico can maintain a real independence from international corporate monopolies.

If the PNM purchase is approved, local control will be gone, and electricity rates will begin to rise, victim to multi-national conglomerate control. Who will care about low income New Mexicans then?

Say what you will about PNM, but a PNM that’s headquartered in New Mexico is infinitely better than a PNM outpost of an out-of-touch multinational behemoth.

Keep your fingers crossed the Supremes will sing true for New Mexico with your interest at heart.

Home » Opinion » Guest Columns » Pray the Supremes keep PNM local

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