Letters to the Editor
We need better PRC commissioners
Larry Behrens recently authored an opinion piece called “New Mexico, get ready for our Governor’s summer flop.” Larry used the analogy of a summer blockbuster movie, but Larry got the casting all wrong.
The Energy Transition Act, or ETA, championed by the governor and passed by the Legislature was a landmark energy policy that not only laid out an achievable timetable to get our state to carbon-free energy but also ensured that no one would be left behind by providing job training and financial assistance to workers and regions affected by fossil fuel plant closures.
So what went wrong? Why the threat of possible outages this summer? That’s because the independently elected state agency, the NM PRC, has abrogated its duty to the public by not regulating but trying to micro-manage utilities based on narrow and special interests.
The governor should be lauded for her insight in bringing about this transformative, comprehensive and compassionate piece of legislation. The governor should also be credited for understanding the need for an appointed PRC. She championed a constitutional amendment that will, in 2023, make the PRC a three-member governor-appointed and state senate confirmed panel.
New Mexico needs to take the PRC’s vital role in our energy and economic future seriously. The current PRC has shown time and time again that it lacks the ability to understand and regulate utilities in a 21st century world.
And make no mistake the poor decisions that this PRC makes directly affects every single New Mexican. Access to utilities is one of the biggest economic development drivers for businesses deciding to locate or relocate to our state. And at every chance, the PRC has slammed the door and said New Mexico is not open for business. Without those businesses, our kids continue to leave the state, and it puts our rich heritage and culture in jeopardy.
I, for one, will be grateful to the governor once again when she appoints competent people to lead the PRC and our state into a better future for all New Mexicans.
Thoughts on Senator Sharer
We are not Senator William Sharer's constituents, however, we become his constituents when, as a single legislator, he is able to hold up the work of the whole Legislature by endless talk about nothing.
Yes, a 30-day session is perhaps too short to engage in all the work to be done to strengthen the families and communities in New Mexico. And, yes, when your party is in the minority you have less chance to move your strategies forward. But you had lots of opportunities to present legislation that you think is better than the legislation of the other party.
Where were Senator Sharer's legislative options this year? How much work was devoted to the single policy he sponsored. Instead of stopping the Senate for two hours while talking nonsense he might have drafted legislation he thought was good for all of us. Instead he chose to stop action that could have improved voting rights for all of New Mexicans. It was heartbreaking to see our legislators act like schoolyard bullies. What they did might have worked when they were adolescents. But now in positions of leadership it looks downright shameful.
In addition Senator Sharer denigrated his colleagues who spoke of the sacred right to vote that was hard won by their ancestors. Indeed, our own parents who were immigrants and republicans, held the right to vote to be a sacred act.
We hope Senator Sharer's constituents will examine his leadership qualities carefully. If they re-elect him, we hope he will not let them, and us, down.
George and Dorothy Gamble