As some folks know, I’ve been dogging our regional electric cooperative for years, mostly trying to get them to open up to our membership about their doings, as well as exercising a lot more common sense about what they do with our resources. A recent example is a dispute over a $300 million + boondoggle of a coal generation plant next to Denali National Park.
GVEA board chairman Rick Schikora and former president-CEO Mike Kelly, now a state legislator, have been running from past responsibility for the experimental power plant in Healy in recent articles in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner. The board chairman, in violation of the understanding of the board to speak with one voice, failed to let the board know about an article written under his name, but which he later told the board wasn’t written by him at all, but by GVEA staff.
In the meantime, Rep. Mike Kelly has total amnesia about his extensive previous involvement in the project and is on a witch hunt to extract many pounds of flesh from the state agency that now owns the plant through his standing as a legislator reviewing their budget, an obvious conflict of interest. He also appears to have forgotten he no longer represents his former employer, but the residents of his district.
You can read the latest exchange, originally published in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner.
- Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority’s (AIDEA) Community Perspective article
- Board chair Rick Schikora’ Community Perspective article
- State Rep. Mike Kelly’s Community Perspective article
- Gary Newman’s reply Community Perspective article
In the meantime, GVEA and AIDEA are in a civil suit over access, AIDEA returned excess revenues back to the state, and Homer Electric is interested in buying power from the experimental power plan. And GVEA is also in dispute with Pogo mine owners (near Delta Jct.) when they entered into a power sales agreement with the Pogo mine with regulatory approval and want to break the agreement because they are behind schedule on building new generation in North Pole (also in litigation with H.C. Price over that project), which would supply the power to the mine.
I wonder what the board of directors do to deserve their $600/month stipend.