Emissions on agenda for PNM shareholder meeting
- PNM shareholders will vote on if the company should adopt goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Some shareholders argue the company should be ready for climate change and future regulations.
- For years, environmentalists have accused PNM of relying too much on coal to produce electricity.
- The plan for replacing lost capacity at San Juan Generating Station is expected to reduce emissions.
ALBUQUERQUE — The holding company for New Mexico’s largest electric provider has opted to host its annual shareholders’ meeting in Texas, and on the ballot is a proposal that would require Public Service Co. of New Mexico to adopt goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The PNM Resources shareholders meeting will be Tuesday in the Dallas suburb of Lewisville, where the company’s other subsidiary — Texas-New Mexico Power — is headquartered.
This marks the first time in the 11 years since PNM Resources acquired TNMP that the meeting will be held in Texas, according to company officials.
A group of shareholders from New Mexico will be making the trip to Texas to present a series of proposals, including the greenhouse gas measure and one that calls for linking executive compensation to the utility’s plans for long-term sustainability.
The shareholders argue that PNM should be ready for the threat of climate change and the effects future regulations could have on ratepayers.
“What is crucial is that the company prepare comprehensive, company-wide reports both on their goals to control greenhouse gas emissions and to address a range of sustainability issues, in one place, with a uniform format and on a yearly basis, so that we, the public, can easily judge for ourselves,” shareholder Dee Homans said in a statement.
The utility has been under fire from environmentalists who for years have accused PNM of relying too heavily on coal to produce the electricity it provides to more than a half-million customers in New Mexico.
A two-year battle over the fate of one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the region wrapped up just last year. While everyone from the New Mexico governor to environmentalists agreed with closing two units at the San Juan Generating Station to curb haze-causing pollution, the debate centered on how best to replace the lost capacity.
Environmentalists wanted more renewable energy. The plan that was ultimately approved included a mix of coal, nuclear, natural gas and solar.
In a letter to shareholders, PNM president and chief executive Pat Vincent-Collawn said as a result, greenhouse gas emissions at the plant will be reduced by 50 percent. She called the approval of the plan the most important accomplishment of 2015.
She also said the plan will put the state in a good position to comply with the federal Clean Power Plan, if it’s upheld.
More than two dozen states have sued to stop President Barack Obama’s carbon emissions-cutting plan. The U.S. Supreme Court has barred implementation of the new rules until the case is resolved.
Vincent-Collawn also outlined the utility’s efforts to add four new solar facilities in 2015 and increase its use of wind by more than 50 percent. She said PNM is on track to meet state requirements that call for 20 percent of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020.
Homans and other shareholders contend PNM has fallen short and that emissions targets already are widespread among U.S. companies. They also claim that companies with emissions goals have seen better returns on investment.