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By Indiana Reed
Special to The SUN
Pagosa Springs High School student Rose Graveson has been selected to represent La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) as part of the National Rural Electric Youth Tour to Washington D.C.
The opportunity to participate in the D.C. Youth Tour, scheduled for June 13-20, 2013, was open to all current high school juniors who receive their electric power from La Plata Electric Association. LPEA annually underwrites the cost of the trip for up to four students within its service territory — one from each school district. No applications were received from Bayfield this year.
“This trip is a tremendous opportunity for our area juniors,” said Greg Munro, LPEA CEO. “The country and the world are facing many challenges in the energy arena, and the industry is changing, so it’s important that our next generation gain an understanding about energy policy development at the federal level. We are pleased to be able to further that education.”
Students completed an application and penned a 500-word essay covering an aspect of the electric industry of their choosing.
In her essay, Graveson addressed the need for clean, renewable energy development: “By harnessing the sun’s powerful rays, or capturing the power of the wind, we can provide the exact same electricity that burning coal does. But the difference is that methods like solar, wind or biomass do not create the harmful pollution that fossil fuels do.”
LPEA’s student representatives will join juniors from the cooperative’s sister electric co-ops across Colorado for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. The schedule includes an intimate look at the nation’s capitol and the government from the inside, including discussion of current concerns with national and state Congressional representatives. Tours of Washington D.C.’s monuments and museums, plus social activities, are also part of the agenda.
Applications for the 2014 Washington D.C. Youth Tour will be available in November 2013 at the LPEA office in Pagosa Springs, through the high school counselor, or on the Web, www.lpea.coop. Home-schooled students are eligible to apply.