by Terri Wiebold, with contributions from Neil Preister
In October, guest speaker Neil Preister attended the Master Association Board of Director’s meeting to discuss the organization IREA Voices and to solicit candidates for the Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA) Board of Director’s election, to be held in April 2009.
IREA Voices is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization made up of member-owners of IREA. They are not endorsed, sponsored or otherwise acknowledged by or affiliated with IREA other than being members or concerned citizens. Unlike investor owned utilities such as Xcel Energy, IREA is a cooperative association that is not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. As such, the member-owners act in the place of regulators through its Board of Directors.
According to Preister, actions in recent years by the IREA Board of Directors have caused citizens to be concerned with the direction IREA is moving, especially in the area of coal-fired power plants without emissions controls for greenhouse gases. Preister provided literature from IREA Voices that contained the following information:
“We stand for reliable service, at the lowest reasonable cost. We believe that recent actions by the Board of Directors and staff put these goals at risk. Specifically, they oppose cost-effective renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, choosing instead to purchase 25% of a coal plant in Pueblo. Not only is coal likely to be a costlier option in the future; in addition, coal has negative environmental and health impacts. Now we own a coal plant and are part of the problem, not the solution.”
Preister encouraged all Castle Pines North residents to educate themselves and become involved in this issue. To learn more about IREA Voices, visit www.IREAVoices.org, or e-mail Contact by email.