After a blistering day yesterday, officials of 15 organizations, representing tens of thousands of New Mexicans, stand shoulder to shoulder with PNM and AVANGRID to correct misinformation and support the merger that will benefits all New Mexicans.
PNM and AVANGRID host 2-hour press conference to address issues and take questions
(Albuquerque, N.M.) – Today, PNM and AVANGRID answered open questions at a news conference about the merger and addressed some concerns heard at the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission open meeting on Wednesday, December 1. Joining PNM and AVANGRID today were elected officials and 10 organizations representing tens of thousands of New Mexicans. To listen to the entire news conference, click here for the recording.
Organizations that spoke in favor of the merger at the news conference included the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General, the All-Pueblo Council of Governors (APCG), the New Mexico Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce, Western Resource Advocates (WRA), Other supporting organizations represented were Ralph Arellanes with the Hispano Roundtable, Joseph Hernandez with the Native American Voters Alliance, Noah Long with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Cara Lynch with the Coalition for Clean and Affordable Energy (CCAE), Kyle Tisdale with the Western Environmental Law Center, The Office of Representative Javier Martinez, Lawrence Rael with the City of Albuquerque, and Shannon Fitzgerald with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
Not only are previous supporters holding steadfast we are adding new supporters every day. Chairman Wilfred Herrera on the All-Pueblo Council of Governors (APCG) representing 20 Pueblo Governors of New Mexico announced that the APCG has formally endorsed the merger. This coming week we will announce additional supporters.
Pat Vincent-Collawn, Chairman, President and CEO of PNM Resources said, “We are here today to answer any questions you may have because PNM has a responsibility to our customers, employees and community partners to ensure they have all the facts when forming an opinion regarding the PNM AVANGRID merger.” She added, “With over $94 million in customer benefits, a total economic impact of over $300 million and reliability, customer, and governance safeguard this merger is where New Mexico needs to go if it’s going to be a leader in renewable energy and if it is going to help us tackle that last hurdle of carbon emissions- transportation.” (At 0:00:55 and 0:36:39 in the recording)
Don Tarry, Chief Financial Officer and incoming President and CEO said, “We believe in open and transparent communication, and are available to you - not only to provide the other side of the story, but to be available for questions you might have.” He also said, “To review some of the regulatory safeguards put into place to protect customers, local management means my team and I will be at the helm for the day-to-day operations of PNM, and we will be held to these responsibilities through our regulatory commitments. The PNM board of directors will provide oversight of my team and the company, and the board will be made up entirely of New Mexicans with a majority of independent board members. Those independent board members will have the independence to look out for New Mexicans. The independent board will control when dividends can be paid up to AVANGRID and also set officer compensation and goals.” (At 0:02:48 and 0:31:04 in the recording)
Bob Kump, Deputy CEO of AVANGRID said, “Culturally, we have always stressed the highest levels of ethics and accountability in everything we do. Philosophically, manage our utilities on the basis of local management and control.” He added, “Iberdrola has been named one of the most ethical companies in the world for the last seven consecutive years.” (At 0:04:18 in the recording)
Pedro Azagra Blazquez, Corporate Development Director at Iberdrola, AVANGRID’s parent company said, “Contrary to what has been said, Iberdrola has a strong history and culture of compliance and ethics.” He added, “We have heard concerns about whether AVANGRID and Iberdrola can help PNM meet the New Mexico renewable energy and carbon reduction goals. The answer is clearly yes. That is what we do. We are experts at owning, developing and operating renewable generation facilities, and we have renewable policies that contribute to our nation’s commitment to combat climate change.” (At 0:17:06 in the recording)
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said, “This is one of the most important transactions in the history of New Mexico, the legislature, and the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, and consumers have either ever been given the opportunity to vet, or potentially, may miss an historic opportunity that sets New Mexico back for generations.” (At 0:40:20 in the recording)
Wilford Hererra, Jr., Chairman of the All-Pueblo Council of Governors said, “We recognize this merger presents an opportunity to preserve and improve a relationship between tribal nations and the primary electric utility authority in New Mexico.” (At 0:55:16 in the recording)
Terri Cole with the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce said, “We are strong supporters of this merger for many reasons.” She added, “We should all want a company like AVANGRID in our state – large, successful, 7,000 employees, understands clean energy investments, and will give back to our community and ratepayers. It would be unwise and unhelpful to our long-term economic growth to be unwelcoming to job creators like AVANGRID and display an unreasonable uncompromising regulatory attitude.” (At 1:08:52 in the recording)
Ernie C’deBaca with the Hispano Chamber of Commerce said, “23 of the 24 original interveners is now either fully supporting or not opposing the merger.” He added, “The merger keeps New Mexicans at the leadership level of the company. They are great people who live here and raise their families here. These executives are dedicated to New Mexico and will continue to focus on what is best for New Mexico, and the benefits that come with the merger ensure that aspect. It bothered me to hear some people that have never set foot into New Mexico bring their own agendas to influence a transaction that is so beneficial to the state.” (At 1:12:23 in the recording)
The investments that will have to be made to make carbon free energy a reality, give customers choice and control over their energy usage, modernize the grid, and protect the grid from cyber criminals will require capital and buying power PNM simply cannot do on its own and that is why PNM has chosen AVANGRID and AVANGRID has chosen PNM. With over $94 million in customer benefits, a total economic impact of over $300 million and reliability, customer, and governance safeguard this merger is where New Mexico needs to go if its going to be a leader in renewable energy and if it’s going to help us tackle that last hurdle of carbon emissions- transportation.
New Mexicans will still be at the helm at PNM, if the merger is approved. PNM will run the day-to-day operations of the company while an independent board of all New Mexicans will oversee local management. For these reasons, and many more included in the news conference, PNM hopes New Mexicans will see the value in the proposed merger with AVANGRID so that together PNM can light a brighter path to the future.