Avoid special-interest candidates in LPEA board elections

Friday, April 27, 2018 3:15 PM

The LPEA board elections have turned into a dirty mess of special interest politics led by one-sided personal agendas. It started last year when some candidates obtained board seats and then began pushing to get out of a power- purchasing contract with Tri-State Generation and Transmission in the name of renewable energy. Tri-State, as an electric cooperative like LPEA, is owned by LPEA and 42 other cooperatives.

LPEA and Tri-State are national leaders in the renewable energy initiative. While Tri-State currently has a generation portfolio that includes coal and natural gas as its base-loading generation, renewable generation of wind, solar and hydro now nears 30 percent of the combined generation.

That has been a significant shift for a company if this size. I've watched it, and I believe the shift to more renewable will continue for many years to come.

If the special-interest candidates get voted onto the board of directors, there will be a push to leave Tr-State at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars to LPEA, affecting member rates. You, as a member, will have no say, as the board vote to leave Tri-State (costing millions) will be solely a board decision.

I urge and recommend you to vote for these candidates in your district: District 1-Bob Formwalt, District 4- Karen Barger, District 2-Kohler McInnis and District 3-Gene Fisher.

I know these candidates are conscientious citizens and concerned for the membership as a whole.

Thank you for voting. It counts for all LPEA members.

Steve Gregg, retired LPEA chief operating officer