Incapable of intelligently debating the need for and how to move La Plata Electric Association toward a genuinely cleaner energy future, my detractors are seeking to steer attention to, well, anything else. Their latest curveball is a business venture that failed when the price of our commodity plunged by 70 percent just as we started up during the Great Recession. They falsely suggest I made lots of money at others’ expense when, in fact, I lost everything I had, including my house.
The motivation for these deceptive attacks is clear. Some of LPEA’s conservative old-guard directors are terrified at the prospect of losing their decades-long hold on power. This movement began when I had the temerity to speak out publicly with my blog, The Energy Critic. With this new level of transparency, I broke an unspoken code – one in which minority-view directors were expected to publicly remain silent. LPEA’s members subsequently elected five new board members over two years.
For nine years, I have been the foremost champion on the LPEA board for cost-effective, clean energy to help reduce the impacts of coal-fired power, such as our community solar garden policy (a half dozen of which are planned this summer) and energy-efficiency programs to help members lower their bills. And when others were happy to rubber stamp, I have questioned how we fundamentally do business – for instance, by working to keep the base charge from rising until we better assess all rate inequities.
It’s a shame LPEA’s old guard and their allies are resorting to these attacks when there is real and important work to do. I urge you to reject the venom directed at myself – and the responsible actions I advocate – to address our contribution to climate change (Many board members still actually deny it). Together we can make progress in cleaning up our electricity and helping members keep their bills low.