[Watchdogs] We were number one bad now we're number one good!

Clyde Doyal clydedoyal at sbcglobal.net
Thu Feb 11 10:07:28 CST 2010


I find this rather interesting and certainly surprising.  If PEC ranks among
the best it paints a very dismal picture of electric coops.  I do think we
owe thanks to those who have worked so hard to make the few changes that we
have seen over the last two years.  I think some are becoming discouraged at
the lack of progress and probably are ready to throw in the towel as it
appears the majority of members of the PEC could care less how this cash cow
outfit is run as long as the power stays on.  Clyde Doyal, Lakeway

 

From: Watchdogs-bounces at pec4u.org [mailto:Watchdogs-bounces at pec4u.org] On
Behalf Of Ric Sternberg
Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 2010 12:15 PM
To: Watchdogs at PEC4u.org
Subject: [Watchdogs] We were number one bad now we're number one good!

 

Dear Coop Friends,

 

I just had to share this post from Mark Kresowik to the Public Power Reform
list. Mark was one of the organizers of the conference in Washington that
PEC members Smitty & Karen, Patrick, Paul & Lee and I attended this past
summer. People on the list were asked to post their info about best and
worst practices at coops aross the country and below is Mark's summary.

 

IMO, we still have a little bit to go. Term limits, meaningful subsidies and
rebates for efficiency and on-site renewables would really justify that
"number one" shout-out.

 

  _____  

 

I have 9 co-ops on each, spread across the country.  Generally for "best", I
was looking for progress.  Not necessarily all the way there, but making
good strides.  On worst, well, most of them have been well discussed on this
list previously.  I look forward to hearing the responses, additions,
changes.  Thanks!

 

Mark

 

Best List

 

Pedernales (TX).  Two years ago this would have been the worst co-op in the
country, but after the PEC Watchdogs effort, a little help from the media
and government, PEC has shown what it takes to move from the bad list to the
good list.  Things like a member bill of rights, open meetings, transparent
and easily accessible elections, innovative agreements with generation and
transmission co-ops, and new commitments to energy efficiency and clean
energy make PEC at the top of the list.  

 

Valley Electric Association (NV) - good solar heating program, CEO is trying
to get a renewable energy caucus started within the co-ops

 

Socorro Electric Cooperative (NM) - 3 reform-minded members won seats on the
Socorro board in 2009 and immediately introduced bills to cap board member
benefits and ensure transparency of meetings and elections.  

 

Farmers Electric Cooperative (IA) - Possibly the oldest co-op in the
country, Farmers CEO Warren McKenna has been a staunch advocate for
efficiency and renewable energy.  Small and old can still be good!

 

Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative (MT) - Yellowstone vigorously
defended keeping its rates low, to the point of suing its G&T to prevent
them from building a new coal plant (Highwood)

 

Homer Electric Association (AK) - The reform-minded efforts of Mike O'Meara
and others at HEA have made this co-op the most progressive cooperative in
Alaska

 

Delta Montrose Electric Association (CO) - I know Bill pushed back a bit on
this one, but when we first started this list, DMEA was one of the top
co-ops Justin listed as engaging members and being transparent.  I think
their departure from the association, while not necessarily something we
want to encourage (engagement may be better) does put them into this list.  

 

Another CO co-op (whichever Bill/Wes/Justin think deserves it) - I know
there is another good co-op, probably one of the co-ops Bill listed, that
deserves to be on this list

 

Polk-Burnett (WI) - while certainly not at the top of the list, Jeff's
efforts as board member are demonstrating that progress can happen when even
a single good board member decides to take action and improve transparency.


 

 

Worst List

 

Cobb (GA) - Do I even need to give the reasons?  No elections for more than
2 years, federal investigations, trying to build more coal, and basically
privatized the co-ops operations for personal benefit.  This is the farthest
thing from the history and foundation of what co-ops should be.  

 

Carroll (AR) - The folks in Arkansas can explain it better, but I also want
to add in that they are a member of AECC, possibly the most regressive G&T
in the country on dirty energy issues.  

 

Intermountain Rural Electric Association (CO) - Again, do I need to give the
reasons?  The CO folks can fill them in.  

 

Wolverine (MI) - Tom, you want to jump in with one of the individual MI
co-ops, or give it to Wolverine as a whole?  

 

EKPC - a G&T that actually requested that some of the member/ratepayers of
their member co-ops not be granted intervenor status in a financing/rate
case because they weren't members of EKPC itself.  Financially unstable, but
still trying to build more coal than any other co-op in the country, except
for maybe AECC.  

 

CoServ (TX) - Members lawsuit

 

Golden Valley Electric Association (AK) - Where HEA is Alaska's best, GVEA
may be Alaska's worst

 

Sulphur Springs (AZ) - Good reasons already give on this list

 

East Texas Electric Cooperative (TX) - Talk about biting the hand that feeds
you, this G&T tried to sue the Rural Utilities Service to defend its
involvement in a coal plant.  I know all of the other co-ops in the country
were very mad after ETEC did this.  

Ric Sternberg
AiM Productions
830-825-0133
www.aimproductions.com

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