Petition for a comprehensive study of public power benefits filed at PRC by sixteen legislators

Updated: Jan 6

Senator Liz Stefanics and Representative Andrea Romero jointly and with their colleagues: Senators Jeff Steinborn, Carrie Hamblen, Leo Jaramillo, Linda M. Lopez, Harold Pope, Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, William Tallman, and Representatives Brittney Barreras, Joanne Ferrary, Derrick Lente, Roger E. Montoya, Kristina Ortez, Angelica Rubio, and Debra Sariñana, filed a petition yesterday at the New Mexico PRC to initiate a comprehensive study:

  1. To determine the costs, benefits and pathways to public power and

  2. To evaluate whether implementation of public power will protect the public interest, reduce and stabilize electricity rates, create revenue generation for the state, and result in the deployment of 100% renewables plus storage and enhance local economic benefits.

As the petition states "within the next decade trillions of dollars will be invested in energy infrastructure across the United States. From federal policies to market forces to the inevitable replacement of retiring fossil fuel plants, the transition to renewable energy sources will necessitate a massive restructuring of not only the power grid and generation sources, but energy markets, ownership and control. With some of the highest solar and wind capacity of any state in the nation, New Mexico will be presented with numerous opportunities and important decisions as this transition unfolds."

The benefits of Public Power include rate stability, local jobs, policies aligned with community values, and significant opportunities for revenue from both local energy consumption and energy exports that would otherwise flow to private corporations and shareholders.

The proposed comprehensive study will answer at least the following questions:

  • What would the quantifiable benefits be if New Mexico pursued a public power structure for its electric system?

  • What are the high-level cost reductions of replacing private investor owned utilities with public power?

  • What is the revenue potential of exporting excess renewable energy and job creation opportunities?

  • How might public power accelerate the transition to renewables?

We are thrilled that so many of our legislators recognize the possibilities for revenue, sustainability and equity in public power ownership!

New Energy Economy is joined by Renewable Taos, Retake Our Democracy, the Climate Change Leadership Institute and a growing number of utility experts and activists in a Public Power New Mexico coalition to promote public power ownership in New Mexico. We will be launching a website, funding an introductory study to define the potential benefits and a design concept, and working to engage and educate the public across the state to define the best path and model for public power in our state. The petition filed today for a comprehensive study is just the first step!