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Morning Word: PNM Rate Case to be Decided in September

September 1, 2016, 7:30 am
PRC Will Decide PNM Rate Case Soon
We’ll know by the end of September if our electric rates are going up. Public Regulation commissioners will vote on the Public Service Company of New Mexico’s request by the end of September.
The Public Service Company of New Mexico proposed a 15.8 percent rate hike earlier this year to cover its investments in nuclear power and energy-efficiency measures. In early August, Carolyn Glick, a hearing examiner for the commission, recommended instead a 6 percent increase, saying PNM hadn’t justified the higher rate. Commissioners offered to reopen the case so that PNM could present more evidence on why it needed the bigger increase, but the utility and other groups involved in the case objected to dragging it out further.
Forfeiture Suit Filed in Albuquerque
The City of Albuquerque is being sued by a mother of a drunk driver for ignoring a state law that bans the forfeiture of assets, including the car she loaned to her son.

Cannabis Employee Salaries Revealed
Looking for a “high” paying job? People working in the fast growing medical cannabis sector are earning good wages. Master growers are earning up to $80,000 a year, and CEOs average about $110,000 annually, according to Marissa Higdon’s analysis at ABQ Business First.

Johnson’s Path to Victory
We missed this earlier in the week, but Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson told FOX New’s Chris Wallace that if he doesn’t get on stage to debate Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, it’s “game over.” He needs to be average 15 percent in public opinion polls to qualify. Fox reports he’s only at about 8 percent.

Trump Details Immigration Plan
On Wednesday, after returning from a visit with the president of Mexico, Donald Trump vowed to remove millions of people living in the country illegally if elected president, warning that failure to do so would jeopardize the “well-being of the American people.” He’s also vowing to build his wall, and you know, “Mexico will pay for it.” First he has to get elected and a new Fox News poll shows Trump has narrowed the gap with Hillary Clinton.
Clinton received 48 percent support to Trump’s 42 percent, a smaller gap than the 10-point spread in the same poll earlier this month. When including Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein, the lead is cut to just 2 percentage points – 41 to 39 percent, with 9 percent for Johnson and 4 percent for Stein.
State Wants Watchdog Group’s Lawsuit Dismissed
The New Mexico Environment Department has asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Nuclear Watch New Mexico that seeks invalidation of a new agreement between the state and federal governments over cleanup of radioactive and hazardous waste from nuclear weapons work at Los Alamos National Laboratory, according to a report in the Albuquerque Journal.

Indian Shield Ordered Returned
The sacred ceremonial shield that was stolen from Acoma Pueblo in the 1970s and almost auctioned off in Paris, has now been ordered returned to the United States by a federal judge.

Who Will Helm Spaceport?
Two finalists with lots of space industry experience are vying to become the next boss at Spaceport America. Gov. Susana Martinez will choose between Daniel C Hicks, the director of plans for White Sands Missile Range, and John E Williams, the former president and CEO of Universal Space Network.

Rains Ease Drought
If you’re like us and gearing up for one last summer camping trip, you’ll be excited to know the mountains are a lot greener. The summer monsoons have improved drought conditions around the state and weather experts say we’ve gone from moderate drought to moderate dry.


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