Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

N.M. is riding a spiking electricity market.

Byline: Aaron Baca Journal Staff Writer

* Mining giant Phelps Dodge suffers, but other companies rely on long-term contracts

Who will be next?

That is the question that naturally follows the recent announcement by Phelps Dodge that it may have to idle or lay off up to 2,300 workers because of rising energy costs largely blamed on the electricity crisis in California.

The best answer for the time being seems to be: maybe no one.

"Phelps Dodge was in sort of a unique situation down there," says Steve Michel of the New Mexico Industrial Energy Consumers, which represents some of the state's biggest electricity users. "Phelps was in a situation where they were buying (electricity) based on the wholesale market.

"I'm not really aware of anyone (industrial electricity users) who might be in the same boat," he adds.

Phelps Dodge recently said it may have to curtail or even halt production at its Chino, Tyrone and Sierrita, Ariz. …

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