Home Opinion Dear Editor PNM’s plan is in best interest of New Mexicans

PNM’s plan is in best interest of New Mexicans

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The Rio Grande Foundation is on record as supporting less regulation and more competition in the area of electricity generation.

Nonetheless, when the Public Regulation Commission makes a final decision on the Public Service Co. of New Mexico rate case, we hope they will vote in favor of the Revised Stipulated Agreement and reject the “modified” agreement. Given the choices, this option is in the best interest of customers and New Mexico’s economy as a whole.

PNM’s plan provides a reasonable time frame for its move from coal to a combination of nuclear, natural gas and fossil fuels. No matter one’s personal opinion on any of these fuel sources, it would be far more expensive for the utility to make a sudden, more dramatic shift to “renewables” as some (but not all) environmentalists would prefer.

In fact, the Sierra Club has signed on to PNM’s rate case as has Western Resource

Advocates and The Coalition for Clean and Affordable Energy. Only the even more hardline New Energy Economy with support from groups like 350.org has continued to oppose the rate case.

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In our view, negotiated agreements are inferior to free markets. Nonetheless, the Rio Grande Foundation sees the Revised Stipulated Agreement as our best way to preserve low cost, reliable electricity in New Mexico. A lack of reliability driven by over-reliance on “renewables” would be devastating to New Mexico’s already-fragile economic condition.

Nuclear is “zero carbon” electricity and natural gas releases half the carbon of coal. Unfortunately, some environmentalists refuse to accept victories. Fortunately, the PRC can make the right decision and embrace the gradual shift to cleaner alternatives to coal that are also reliable and economically viable.

Paul Gessing
President, Rio Grande Foundation
Albuquerque