Stop the ‘Green’

Dear Editor:

We need to retain conservative members with a known and consistent voting record on the LPEA board and not risk replacing them with someone who has no voting record. We need to stop the “Green” agenda being pushed by our state government and the “Green” half of our LPEA Board.

Two years ago the LPEA election was about the desire of New Southwest Energy Economy group and San Juan Citizens Alliance to replace enough of the existing board members to ignore the mission of LPEA — “Dependable and Affordable Energy” for its members to a mission of supporting special interest energy groups. Their hope was that they could hide from the membership the fact their energy product is much higher than LPEA’s existing costs and is not dependable. Recognizing the flawed approach advocated by the “green” candidates, Bob Formwalt was re-elected to the LPEA Board in 2012.

Last year, with the infusion of a lot of “Green” money and extensive campaigns, the conservative candidate in the District 1 election, Lin Stewart, lost by 32 votes. The Renewable Group cleaned the slate with wins in three Districts resulting in a split (6 to 6) LPEA Board. Because of the election, newly elected “Greens” predicted an “incredible leap forward with LPEA” with other organizations looking forward to supporting LPEA’s direction towards increasing local renewable energy development and pledging to continue to leverage and support climate and energy projects.

The self-identified “green” contingent of the LPEA Board wants to reduce representatives from each district from three to two, with a director at large (reducing the board composition from 12 to 9) and realign districts, both of which could swing the balance more in their favor making their agenda easier to accomplish. So far votes have split along party lines. The “Green” comment was, “this will be brought up again in the future.”

The Board needs stability to allow it to return to efficient leadership and decision-making based on what is best for our members, not what is best for some directors’ personal political agendas. The Board is currently dealing with on-going PUC litigation, increasing state and federal regulation and the resultant requirements, and the exodus of key staff leadership. This is not the time to lose the knowledge and experience gained by Ken during the past three years by replacing him with an unknown quantity.

LPEA has been a leader in energy conservation and renewable energy for many years, but the recent big push to accelerate a time proven strategy into more green energy, (mainly solar) to the extent that long term contracts are being challenged knowing that rates will go higher very quickly, is not in our best interests — it will, however, make a lot of money for the “Solar” folks in Durango.

Ken Fox has a voting record that is fiscally conservative and sensible. He has been working for an affordable energy future for all of us. Vote for Ken Fox for LPEA District 1 because you know how he votes.

Jim Huffman

This story was posted on April 17, 2014.