Updated: Wednesday, 04 May 2011, 7:17 PM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 04 May 2011, 5:33 PM MDT
SANTA FE, NM (KRQE) - State regulators say there's no evidence that The New Mexico Gas Company broke any rules ahead of the massive February outage that left thousands of customers in the cold.
The Public Regulation Commission wrapped up a 2-day hearing with company executives on Wednesday. Those officials maintain that they had to cut service to some northern New Mexico communities after they did not receive two shipments of gas or risk a systemwide failure.
Gas company executives said the blame for the missed shipments falls on their gas supplier dealing with power outages and the high demand for the fuel across the state.
Commissioners will decide later whether the gas company did anything wrong. But many people who were directly affected have already made up their minds.
Espanola Mayor Alice Lucero testified that she was frusterated that the gas company did not inform her residents about cutting their supply of gas until after the valve was already shut off to her community. She said she learned from residents about the service interruption and then had to call a gas employee herself to find out it was true.
"I had to find out for myself," said Espanola Mayor Mary Alice Lucero.
Wednesday's hearing has nothing to do with the gas company's recent request for a rate hike. That will be the subject of a separate decision-making process down the road.