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We do not need Avangrid-Iberdrola, (AI) an international for-profit corporation to operate our public electric utility. We need the governor to exercise leadership and call the legislature into a special session to implement a Public Electric Utility. AI has been fined millions of dollars by state and US regulators. They have not met goals for producing renewable energy. Similarly, PNM only produces 5.6 percent of its power by renewables. They are not leading us towards net-zero 100 percent renewable energy production. We New Mexicans need to invest in ourselves. We should not be beholden to international corporate profit takers, and Wall Street shareholders. We have the opportunity to lead the world in developing a net-zero utility. This will be the boldest step towards addressing global warming and climate change anywhere on the planet. It will be owned by the citizens of NM, a financial asset, a source of pride to NM, a welcome feeling given the dystopia around us. It would send a herculean message to corporations who care about climate change and will be a catalyst for like-minded industry to relocate to New Mexico. The supporters of the purchase are only supporting it because they have received money from PNM’s ‘community funds’ and are concerned about losing funding; which is less than $4 million annually and is four-hundredths of one percent of their earnings.
PNM is no superlative benefactor. Per the PNM US SEC form 10-K 12.31.20 filing, their primary focus is earnings for their shareholders, delivery at or above-average dividends to their shareholders, and maintaining investment grade credit ratings. Providing quality, cost effective, renewable source, dependable service are NOT primary concerns. PNM is guaranteed an ROE of 9.54 percent for monies invested and used for construction regardless of how insane those investments are: PNM purchased a coal mine in 2019. 2021 Dividends to shareholders will exceed $112 million. A public utility can direct the $200 million+ in dividends, corporate bonuses, and ROE monies to community funds and improvements, paying out more than 25 X’s what PNM currently pays out. The public-owned electric utility will be a good business model for the state. It includes assets of 15,428 miles of transmission/distribution lines, 255 substations, and real estate. Corporate bonuses will be eliminated while keeping an experienced IBEW workforce employed. The initial purchase of PNM can be funded by a loan from the NM SIC/Funds. Tax-Free Bonds can then be sold to pay back the loan along with funding the expansion of renewable energy production facilities such that we are net-zero by 2026. Yes, we can do that in five years!
Based on USDOE, the net-zero public utility will need to replace 19.2 TWh of electrical generation with new renewable energy sources. This will include the construction of many solar and wind farms throughout New Mexico, which will provide jobs throughout the state while developing diverse energy production locations which will yield a more dependable electrical generation system. It will not affect revenues generated from the oil and natural gas extraction industry. The cost will be under $6 billion. Along with the initial purchase price, a $10 billion investment will create a 100 percent renewable energy production utility that will have the most profound effect and influence on our lives.