ALAMOGORDO — With 20 years of experience in the utilities and energy industry, Joseph Bizzell beleives he is the perfect candidate to fill the District 5 New Mexico Public Regulations Commissioner’s seat.
Republican Bizzell, 44, is running for the NMPRC District 5 seat in the June 2018 primary elections which is currently occupied by incumbent Sandy Jones.
Jones, who could run one more term, has not announced any plans to seek reelection at this time.
The NMPRC regulates the utilities, telecommunications, and motor carrier industries to ensure fair and reasonable rates, and to assure reasonable and adequate services to the public as provided by law.
The NMPRC promotes public safety through the offices of the State Fire Marshal, the Firefighter Training Academy, Pipeline Safety Bureau and Transportation Division.
Bizzell was born in Albuquerque and resides in Los Lunas with his wife Andrea and their daughter, Bella, and their beloved dog, Mace. He graduated from Belen High School in 1991 and joined the Navy immediately afterwards where he served four years of active duty.
After he returned home from the military, Bizzell went to work for his father’s business, Bizzell Power, and continues to help his parents on their family farm where they grow alfalfa and millet off of La Luz Gate Road that’s north of Alamogordo.
With nearly two decades of experience operating a family business, specializing in high voltage electrical services Bizzell said he has a contractor’s license with almost every utility entity such as water, sewer, gas, telephone and power.
“I want to make sure that our children have a good state to live in and I want to make sure that in 20 years the rates aren’t so high that people can’t afford them. I want to make sure that in rural New Mexico we have a voice.”
Joseph Bizzell, NMPRC District 5 candidate
In 1999, Bizzell started his own company, Bizzell Electric, which he sold in 2008 and is now retired.
“I want to help people in New Mexico through the PRC, utilities play a part in our everyday life. They don’t know that they have a voice,” Bizzell said. “I went to a public hearing for PNM in the middle of June and I was the only one that showed up. Most people don’t even know what the PRC does yet alone exists.”
The PRC regulates consumer issues relating to transportation such as billing issues for towing companies, ambulances, limousines and taxis. It also regulates pipeline safety which enforces state and federal regulations regarding oil and natural gas.
Besides transportation and pipeline safety the PRC also regulates utilities like natural gas, propane, investor-owned water and sewer and electric companies and electric cooperatives and even telecommunications. When it comes to telecommunications, the PRC regulates cell phone towers and regulates rates just to name a few.
Being from Los Lunas, Bizzell said he wants to be the voice for rural New Mexico who really don’t have that many options when it comes to different utility companies.
“In rural New Mexico we don’t have the same options as the northern part of the state. It’s not a 20 minute drive to get equipment like in the north, there’s a big difference in small towns,” Bizzell said. “I want to be that voice for them and stand up for them. In today’s technology, there’s no reason that people shouldn’t know what’s going on in our state. In rural areas, you don’t really have a choice, you’re either PNM or solar and you’re very limited on your monopoly. It’s not fair for these companies to have free reign and charge you whatever they want. They have to go through the PRC and the proper channels.”
If elected, Bizzell promises to demand accountability from providers that deliver essential services to New Mexicans. He also wants to provide fairness for hardworking New Mexicans who depend on vital industries and ensure he is accessible to constituents so the residents of PRC District 5 have a voice.
“I want to make sure that our children have a good state to live in and I want to make sure that in 20 years the rates aren’t so high that people can’t afford them. I want to make sure that in rural New Mexico we have a voice,” Bizzell said. “Everybody needs to know that our lives are different than those in Albuquerque. We live off farming and people work hard here, they deserve a voice. All decisions I make are with honor, courage and commitment.”
For more information on the NMPRC visit their website at http://nmprc.state.nm.us