New Mexico’s Public Regulation Commission is one of the nation’s more powerful regulatory bodies. Because of that power, it is regrettable that so much PRC work occurs with so few people paying attention. Journalists, of course, should and could do more to cover the byzantine happenings at the PRC — which, among other duties, regulates utilities and telecommunications in New Mexico. Even with widespread news coverage, though, the work of the PRC is often ignored; except perhaps when its commissioners are caught up in a scandal.
Despite citizen inattention, what happens at the PRC determines much more than simply the price of electricity or the cost of a telephone land line. Its decisions impact the state economy, environment and consumer access to necessary technology now and in the future. PRC decisions can kill fledgling industries, or help them grow into giants.
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