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Electricity-rate increase plan spurs protest in New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Environmental activists are staging a protest in Santa Fe as state utility regulators consider a proposed 14 percent rate increase by New Mexico’s largest electric utility.

Public hearings began Monday on the proposal from Albuquerque-based Public Service Company of New Mexico to increase annual revenues by $124 million. The environmental group New Energy Economy rallied about 50 people under a morning drizzle to protest PNM’s plan outside the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.

Consumer advocates object to PNM’s new ownership stake at the Palo Verde Nuclear Station in Arizona along with investments in pollution-control equipment at the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station. PNM says its investments are cost-effective.

PNM also wants to revamp customer bills as it seeks to ensure recovery of infrastructure spending amid declines in anticipated energy sales.

Related news, New Mexico groups push for more renewable energy.

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