PRC declines to investigate coal mine sale

The Associated Press
Coal moves on a conveyor belt and is deposited at a collection site on Jan. 13 at the San Juan Mine in Waterflow.

SANTA FE — State regulators will not investigate the Public Service Company of New Mexico's role in financing the purchase of a coal mine.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that the Public Regulation Commission on Wednesday voted to permanently table a motion filed in February by New Energy Economy. The nonprofit had sought an investigation into the details of a PNM subsidiary that loaned Westmoreland Coal Co. $125 million to purchase the San Juan Coal Mine.

PRC general counsel said commissioners likely didn't have the authority for such an investigation since the financing occurred through a parent company and subsidiary of PNM, not through the utility.

A New Energy Economy official called the PRC vote irresponsible.

A PNM spokeswoman says customers will benefit from the savings of the new coal agreement.