I subscribe to The Santa Fe New Mexican, which I read with morning coffee to stay informed. Lately, it has been a difficult read. Stories about increased crime, climate change and COVID-19 statistics are a few of the recent topics that have left me unsettled and aggrieved. Today, though, when the Michigan school shooting that left four children dead and eight wounded was relegated to Page A3, I am even more saddened by our sorry state of affairs.
Gosh, what a difficult decision to make: How does one prosecute that liberal bête noire, “gun crime,” without involving a beloved liberal icon, who is arguably the cause of a negligent homicide, while at the same time not alienating the film industry, our state’s and county’s bread and butter? Looks like a job for “restorative justice.”
On the attack
I am surprised The New Mexican chose to print a full page ad from Avangrid, a global energy conglomerate with $39 billion in assets, attacking the executive director of New Energy Economy, a small local nonprofit, in which the company slanders her, calling her a liar. In fact, Mariel Nanasi is an outstanding advocate for renewable and equitable public power. She presented the case against the Avangrid/Public Service Company of New Mexico merger to the Public Regulation Commission in accordance with NEE’s mission and the law. The hearing examiner has agreed with Nanasi on all counts, found the merger is not in the public interest and called on Avangrid to reimburse her expenses in bringing them to justice. Let Avangrid respond to the findings against it using the same public participation process NEE used, not by paying to take cheap shots at the woman standing up to them.
I am doing everything the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told me to do, and it seems like it has made no difference in stopping the spread of COVID-19. I listen to the news and read the newspapers and cases are soaring; this doesn’t make sense to me. I’m big on the truth and things that do make sense. I believe that wearing masks offers protection against COVID-19 and many other things; that makes sense. I believe that getting the vaccine also offers protection from COVID-19; this also makes sense. With our mask mandate and most people wearing masks indoors and most people vaccinated, how can it be that cases are soaring?
Can we question the numbers? Can we ask for more information? If we had 1,000 new cases today, how many were vaccinated and how many were not? If I’m on the fence on getting vaccinated, and I see that out of 1,000 cases, 950 are unvaccinated, I am getting the shot. And of the breakthrough cases, what vaccine did they get? What if one of them doesn’t work as well? Shouldn’t I want to know? And who is getting tested? Is it the same people multiple times (as in sports)? How many had no symptoms? How accurate are the tests, and which tests are being counted? Let’s use science instead of the media to find out what really works. The truth is out there.
Stop the disaster
The PNM/Avangrid TV ads are beautiful and appealing, but they are straight-out lying to us. This merger would only benefit the wealthy. It would be catastrophic for New Mexico. We can learn from the misadventures of Maine, where Avangrid purchased their largest local utility to see just how dreadful this company is. The utility had abysmal customer satisfaction, a history of outages and failed reliability, a failed billing system, shut-off notices sent during the coronavirus pandemic winter against Maine state law, a complete absence of consideration of ratepayer and public benefit in the merger proposal, lack of commitment to or expertise in renewable energy and a complete disregard for laws and regulation. Public regulation commissioners, we are counting on you to reject this disastrous merger. New Mexico has suffered enough at the hands of PNM. This merger would be even worse.