Friday, July 6, 2007

Break The Grip Field Trip

Tracking the El Paso Electric Rate Case has revealed legal procedures, confidentiality rules and utility company control over the process that curtails public participation and consumer advocacy. I have discussed these issues with PRC Commissioners Sandy Jones and Jason Marks as well as Chief of Staff Danny Mayfield and Consumer Relations Division Chief Juan Rios. These are the decision makers who could make the PRC more user friendly. They seem genuinely to agree with the need for change, especially newcomer and “people person” Sandy Jones. But they are reticent and say they are constrained by the legal department, PRC rules, budgetary limitations and the political power of regulated utility companies in New Mexcio. For several months I have written posts about public access and input to the Public Regulation Commission (PRC).

Over at Break The Grip, Bill Althouse takes us on a “citizen visit” to the PRC in Santa Fe. Check out the trials and tribulations encountered by clicking HERE

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Tea With Steve

On an hellaciously warm afternoon in one of the genteel homes that grace the turn of the century Alameda Depot Historic District of Las Cruces, a parlor meeting of invited residents from the Alameda Depot and the more modest, but older Mesquite Historic District was held. The guest of honor was Congressman Stevan Pearce, Republican, 2nd District and Hobbs native.

Standing around before the Congressman addressed the group, was a local historian who claimed lineage to the last hangman of Las Cruces. He informed the homeowner-a retired gentleman who said, “I do the yard work around here.” when introducing himself - that his house was built on the former location of the Park Hotel. This area, once Rio Grande bottom land, was developed after the railroad was built in 1881, hence the need for a hotel to service passenger travelers.
CLICK HERE to be redirected to full post

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Clean Energy Act 2007 Survives New Mexican Assault

“The San Francisco Democrats want to run cars with wind”, said Congressman Steve Pearce in a statement opposing the Clean Energy Act of 2007 which would repeal tax breaks for the oil industry and order the Bush Administration to collect past royalties on federal oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico. Pearce wants to preserve corporate welfare for oil and gas extraction by large energy companies which came in the form of tax breaks for Big Oil and was awarded by Congress in 2004 at a time of unprecedented profits in the industry. Despite Pearce’s objection the Bill passed the House. CLICK HERE to be redirected to full post

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Breaking The Grip in Southern New Mexico

“Ben Luce has been instrumental in the writing of laws and regulations that are the foundation of New Mexico’s transition to a clean energy economy. He is an expert on new energy technologies and the policies that promote them.”
While I am encouraged by some clean energy policy in the State, here in Southern New Mexico, energy is under the firm control of the oil and gas industry, nuclear reprocessing and waste interests, El Paso Electric Corporation of Texas and Tri State Generation and Transmission of Denver. The state of clean energy in Southern New Mexico makes a mockery of Governor Richardson’s statements on the campaign trail. Breaking the grip of corporate control of energy is a prerequisite to clean energy progress in Southern New Mexico.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Commissioner Sandy Jones Brings PRC to TorC

On Wednesday, June 20, Public Regulation Commissioner, Sandy Jones and several PRC officials met with the public at the Sierra County Commission Chambers in Truth or Consequences. The purpose of meeting was to establish access to Santa Fe “decision makers”, Sandy Jones emphasized in an article in the The Herald and in a news release on the much improved PRC web site. CLICK HERE to be redirected to full post

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Where Does Electricity Produced 12 Miles Southwest of Las Cruces, N.M. Go?

Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), the State’s largest public electric utility, serving north central New Mexico and certain other areas in the state, is proposing a rate increase to raise 60.9 million dollars in new revenue. PNM says that 30% of the new revenue will be used to double generating capacity at the company’s Afton gas powered Generating Plant, south of Las Cruces. The new generation will be needed to meet increasing demand. At the El Paso Electric rate increase hearing in Las Cruces, the Public Regulation Commission expressed concern about how EPE would meet future demand in Las Cruces since the the Texas utility is not building new generating capacity and has made little progress in energy efficiency. So why has PNM and not EPE built a new plant in fast growing Las Cruces? CLICK HERE to be redirected to full post

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Energy Resource Rich Site Approved For Vistas at Presidio Development In Las Cruces

Las Cruces City Council has approved annexation and development of thousands of acres on the East Mesa. Vistas at Presidio will be built over a vast geothermal field and under the nation’s second most intense solar radiation. CLICK HERE to be redirected to full post