S&P Global quoted AEE's JR Tolbert in its coverage of the approaches environmentalists and utility companies are pursuing to close remaining coal plants and how to recover costs. Read excerpts below and the entire S&P Global story here.
In July 2018, an energy lobbyist emailed three New Mexico state lawmakers to urge them not to give utility companies a free pass to recoup their investments in abandoned coal-fired power plants. Environmentalists were drafting a bill to shield utility shareholders from the cost of closing coal plants in the state, and Bruce Throne, a lawyer and, at the time, a lobbyist for power producer Southwest Generation Operating Company LLC, warned that ratepayers could pay a steep price if regulators were stripped of their authority to "balance the interests of [utility] customers and investors." Unswayed, lawmakers cleared the way for utilities to recover their coal investments by selling bonds that are paid off by ratepayers, a process known as securitization.