PRC approves rate credits for PNM customers

Customers of the Public Service Company of New Mexico will likely get some money back on their bills thanks to the closure of the San Juan Generating Station. The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission approved a settlement between various parties including PNM on Thursday that sets rate credits for customers going forward. Now it is up to the New Mexico Supreme Court to decide whether to dismiss the case, if PNM files a motion to dismiss. After that occurs, the rate credits could go into effect 30 days after the court order dismissing the case

Cydney Beadles with Western Resource Advocates, one of the parties to the settlement agreement, said PNM is already collecting the necessary signatures to file that motion. “It’s obvious that PNM wants to get this behind them and move forward,” she said.

"Vote Here" signs in front of the Otero County Administration Building on New York Avenue in Alamogordo.

Otero County to pay $45,000 to resident kicked out of meetings

An Otero County resident will receive $45,000 from Otero County in a settlement stemming from him being forcibly removed from commission meetings by former commissioner Couy Griffin. Matthew Crecelius was one of several people who went to Otero County Commission meetings to protest the commission’s refusal to certify the 2020 election results. Crecelius was silenced and, on at least one occasion, removed from Otero County Commission meetings by the Otero County Sheriff’s deputies at Griffin’s request. “I was mocked, yelled at, silenced, and roughly thrown out of public hearings simply because I had a different opinion than the predominant conservative view – namely that the election wasn’t stolen. I was treated like someone who committed a crime,” Crecelius said in an American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico  news release.

Southern NM pantry sets out to fight hunger, stigma with new building

By Damien Willis, New Mexico Local News

LAS CRUCES – As one pulls into the parking lot of Casa de Peregrinos Emergency Food Program’s new warehouse and distribution center at 999 W. Amador, Bldg. 1, you could easily believe you were arriving at a nice grocery store. Though the new facility, which began service Monday, Aug. 21, is actually a remodeled feed store, the new facade is as welcoming as a supermarket — and that’s very intentional. As the need for emergency food assistance rises in Doña Ana County for various reasons, Casa de Peregrinos is working to expand its reach and is removing some of the barriers that lead to a stigma around food insecurity.

Study: New Mexico had highest increase in abortion since 2020

Between January 2020 and June 2023, New Mexico saw a larger increase in abortion than any other state, according to a new report. The Guttmacher Institute, a policy organization based in Washington D.C. that researches reproductive health, released a new interactive data map which shows increases in abortion state by state. New Mexico saw 6,480 more abortions between January 2020 to June 2023. That amounts to a 220 percent increase. Colorado, where abortion also remains legal, saw an 89 percent increase in abortion during the same period.

NM advocates join NYC march calling for the end of fossil fuels

Environmental advocates from New Mexico attended a march in New York City this weekend to demand the end of fossil fuel extraction and use. The march in Manhattan brought an estimated 75,000 participants from across the country, including about 50 New Mexicans from a variety of advocacy groups. The demonstration came in advance of this week’s United Nations Climate Ambition Summit, which will be taking place in New York. The group of New Mexicans who participated in the march were led by Indigenous and youth advocates who carried an 18-foot long banner addressing President Joe Biden and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham that said, “New Mexico is Burning, Biden and MLG: Climate Action Now!”

“A collective of grassroots movements across the state of New Mexico is joining other frontline movements who mobilize around a No False Solutions narrative to bring light to the financialization and continued commodification of our natural and cultural resources,” Julia Bernal, executive director of Pueblo Action Alliance, said in a press release about the demonstration. “We’re bringing a unified grassroots message to the international platform to demand our elected leaders take bold climate action that doesn’t continue the legacy of harm and extraction that has negatively impacted our ancestral territories for generations.”

The advocates also delivered what they called the New Mexico Declaration for Climate Justice to federal and state officials as well as the United Nations.