Pontius: Tri-State line reminiscent of tobacco lobby

Saturday, March 3, 2018 1:14 PM

Thanks for publishing the three side-by-side columns (Herald, Feb. 24) on issues relating to our local electrical cooperative. Seeing the contrasting articles about LPEA, Tri-State and Kit Carson was illuminating.

Unger and Bresnahan each talk about Tri-State not being competitive with the wholesale marketplace. However, the Tri-State spokesman, Mr. Dreyspring, only compares Tri-State’s cost to all other monopoly generation and transmission provider costs. He does not compare costs to other cooperatives that now have independence to select power providers.

There are several cooperatives in Colorado who have this independence from Tri-State, and they all have lower wholesale energy costs than does LPEA.

Unger and Bresnahan both mention the lower cost and local economic benefits of obtaining some of the needed power from renewables. The Tri-State spokesman implies that won’t work until accompanied by cheap storage and “Tri-State can do it all for you.”

Unger and Bresnahan both mention the 5 percent contract limit, but Dreyspring says not only is it not a problem, it is a benefit that made the few local projects possible.

In fact, other than the solar gardens, the projects he mentions were built before there was a 5 percent limit. The Tri-State spokesman really reminds me of cigarette lobbyists from the past: “Don’t worry, it is not a problem, trust us, we only have your best interests in mind.”

Karen Pontius