About 60 demonstrators were waving signs in front of PNM headquarters the morning of the company’s 2015 Annual Meeting.
Inside, behind a security cordon of nervous rent-a-cops, CEO Pat Collawn delivered the obligatory bland speech to a handful of local stockholders, while the bullhorn-led protestors four floors below chanted, “No nukes, no coal! Solar is the way to go!” and “Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho! Dirty coal has to GO!”
A disclaimer to reveal my bias: I’m thrice-related to PNM.
First, I’m a shareholder. If that conjures up visions of Rich Uncle Pennybags off the Monopoly box, think again. PNM is almost entirely owned by conservative mutual funds that pool the savings of millions of small investors.
If your nest egg is tucked away with Fidelity or Vanguard, you may be a PNM owner, too.
Second, I used to work there.
Looking back over my long and checkered career, I can honestly say it was the best job I ever had. The company demanded a full day’s work for a day’s pay, but the money was good, at least by New Mexico standards, helping me put two kids through college.
Finally, I’m a PNM customer. The monthly bill is higher than I’d like, and it’s going to be even stiffer if the company’s current request for a 12 percent rate hike is approved.