Corporate Lobbyist's Contributions Get Jones Attention
Companies regulated by the PRC are forbidden from making campaign contributions to PRC commissioners. But that doesn't stop their lobbyists from making contributions. Here are companies with business before the PRC whose lobbyists have contributed to Jones and have received preferential treatment.
1. PRC staff and hearing examiners found that PNM made hundreds of millions of dollars in "imprudent" investments in Palo Verde Nuclear Plant and the Four Corners Coal Plant. They advised that ratepayers should not have to pay for them. Jones voted to overrule PRC staff recommendations. Ratepayers not only got stuck with the bill but a 10% annual profit sweetener to PNM to boot.
2. PRC staff and hearing examiners found that a proposed solar project from PNM was the result of a rigged bidding process. They recommended rejecting the proposal noting that much lower prices for solar projects appeared to be available. The potential alternative projects would have been less profitable for PNM but much less expensive for consumers. Sandy voted to overturn the staff recommendations and the project was approved.
Jones' campaign consultant and campaign contributor is also a lobbyist for Affordable Solar. Affordable Solar is the contractor beneficiary of the rigged bidding process for PNM's solar project. One Jones vote benefitted two corporate campaign contributors at the expense of the public.
Sacred Wind Communications
Another lobbying client of Jones' campaign coordinator, Sacred Winds Communications received a series of favorable votes from Jones awarding them broadband expansion contracts.
Century Link and Uber
These are also PRC regulated companies whose lobbyists have contributed to Jones' campaigns.
Jones Ignores Consumers and Regulatory Experts
Talavera Community - Four Months and Waiting.....
Talavera residents are up in arms about a proposed new El Paso Electric substation that would come between them and their views of the Organ Mountains. It turns out that electric utilities in Arizona, Texas, California, New York and the Carolinas have discovered that battery storage and energy efficiency investments can be far less expensive and have far less impact on property values than substations. But El Paso Electric has failed to present any studies of these options.
Over 300 community residents petitioned Jones and the PRC to require El Paso Electric to study these less expensive alternatives for Talavera and other locations to see if they are feasible. Four months later, Jones has failed to send a formal response. But he has publicly stated without any evidence that "batteries are not yet ready."
Respected Regulatory Consultants
At the legislature’s request, a study of the PRC was conducted by respected professional regulators from the National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI)and published in May 2017. The report found that staff morale is awful and there is inadequate provision for consumer advocacy, inadequate training, little effort to keep up with rapid new developments in the energy industry, and a lack of openness to new ideas and technologies. The consultants concluded that the PRC is probably incapable of making sound regulatory decisions.
Jones has publicly blasted the report and refused to hold any meetings to examine the findings. No corrective actions have been taken. Meanwhile, a toxic work environment has PRC staff quitting in droves.
See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil is not a management strategy. Consumers and PRC employees deserve better.
It's time for a Change! Steve Fischmann for PRC.