I opened my bill from the Socorro Electric Cooperative (SEC) this morning and began reading the May 2020 Co-op newsletter, Co-op Corner.

The front-page article, SEC Continues Efforts to Protect Cooperative Membership, discusses the ongoing legal battle between the SEC and the City of Socorro and New Mexico Tech. As I understand from this article, both the City of Socorro and New Mexico Tech feel they should be charged a lower rate by the Co-op for the electricity they consume because they consume more electricity than the rest of us.

I’m disappointed for three reasons in that position taken by the City and Tech. First, any savings the City and Tech gain by a lower electric utility rate will be charged to me and every other Co-op member. Second, from a green perspective, the consumers of the most electricity have the largest carbon footprint and contribute most to global warming. If anything, those large consumers should be charged more so some money could be put toward combating global warming. Maybe it should be the lowest electric consumers that are given the lowest rate.

Finally, the Co-op is not a for-profit corporation. They provide energy at the lowest rate their operating expenses allow. There are no profits to give up so two large customers can be appeased.

From my perspective, as a twenty-two-year Socorro County resident, the mayor started this battle because it’s in his nature to build his empire. He wants to expand the industrial park (a good idea on its own) by offering companies lower electric rates at the expense of all Socorro County residents. The mayor is actually causing the Co-op electric rates to go up as we, the members of the Co-op, must spend money on legal fees to battle his empire building nature.

Mike Finn

Socorro County, NM

El Defensor Chieftain Editor