Senator Asks AG To Investigate Gas Outage

New Mexico – Questa Senator Carlos Cisneros (D-Los Alamos, Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, Taos-6) has hand-delivered a letter to New Mexico Attorney General, Gary King asking him to conduct an immediate and full investigation into the natural gas outage that has left thousands of New Mexicans in the cold. Senator Cisneros called the outage, "a heartbreaking and dangerous crisis."

Sen. Cisneros wants an immediate investigation into what led up to the outage that hit statewide. The Senator said Northern New Mexico was hit particularly hard, especially Taos County and Rio Arriba County. He said people in communities statewide including Bernalillo, Santa Ana Pueblo, Placitas, Alamogordo, Silver City, Tularosa, La Luz, Espanola, Santa Clara Pueblo, Okawy Owingeh Pueblo and San Ildefonso Pueblo have suffered.

"Families have been left in the cold and their water lines are frozen," said Sen. Cisneros who wants the AG to investigate how the Gas Company is going to reimburse citizens for their losses. Sen. Cisneros said "It is horrifying New Mexicans have endured bitterly cold nights without heat due to the outage," and he is just as concerned about the fairness and transparency of the New Mexico Gas Company's suggested claims process, which he calls "lacking." "I want to know what the New Mexico Gas Company is going to do to make the citizens of the affected areas whole again," said Sen. Cisneros.

The Senator wants the AG to immediately assemble a task force of assistant attorneys general and investigators to make sure the claims process is fair. He also wants the AG to look into how New Mexico Gas Company determined the priority for relighting homes and commercial buildings, and what emergency preparations New Mexico Natural Gas Company took prior to the outage.

Sen. Cisneros introduced Senate Memorial 30 on Tuesday (2/8/11) requesting a task force to investigate how and why the natural gas outage happened and how to prevent it in the future. The Senate Corporations and Conservation Committees will hold a joint meeting to listen to citizens concerns and look into the outage and what's being done.