Stop blindly defending Tri-State

To the editor,

I am writing in response to a letter by Mr. John Beebe, “Progressives’ LPEA plan is self-serving.” In his letter, Beebe makes several misleading claims.

First, he claims that “progressive” candidates for the LPEA Board want to exit LPEA’s contract with Tri-State. None of the candidates have voiced this opinion, they are simply in support of considering LPEA’s options. Then, Beebe asserts that a buyout would cost LPEA $400 million – another misleading claim. Regardless of whether or not this number is true (it is unclear how Beebe calculated it when the LPEA Board itself isn’t sure of a number), he neglects to point out that the savings from a buyout could very possibly negate these costs.

I would especially like to point to Beebe’s (and Tri-State’s) claim that Tri-State is “supplying us with 30 percent renewable electricity today, two full years ahead of the state-mandated 20 percent by 2020.” Despite the millions of dollars Tri-State has spent touting this fact, it’s absolutely not true.

Two-thirds of Tri-State’s self-calculated renewables portfolio is generated by federal hydropower, which is not considered renewable under Colorado State mandate. Construction of these dams preceded the existence of Tri-State.

We need LPEA directors who will look past the big, inflammatory numbers and find out what they actually mean. We need directors who will work hard for LPEA members, not blindly defend Tri-State. Please, vote for Bassett, Wheeler, Mannix or Skeehan before May 12.

– Erika Brown, Durango