GVEA members weigh in on G&T proposal
I’ve had a number of GVEA members contacting me regarding GVEA’s proposal to transfer $300 million of assets out of the members’ control. I received a fact sheet from some of them, who obviously spent some time on it. It is summarized below. You can view the entire document at www.chena.org/gvea/gt-info.pdf or on their website
GVEA Ballots Hit the Mail 11/20/06!
They should not be thrown out with the rest of your junk mail!Ballot Issue 1 strips GVEA Members’ voting rights forever
We Recommend: Voting NO on Ballot Issue #1, and YES on Ballot Issue #2
By a vote of its members, GVEA is proposing to transfer $300 million worth of power generation plants and transmission lines to a separate co-op known as GVEA G&T (i.e., Generation and Transmission). If Ballot Issue 1 is approved, the new entity would never again need GVEA member’s approval for major decisions. Members would lose the ability to vote on matters related to power generation plants and transmission lines, features of ownership that have the greatest impact on our electric bills.
According to our review, numerous problems exist under GVEA’s proposal. For example:
• The potential savings which GVEA claims under a G&T co-op are highly inflated. They are based on an “apples and oranges” economic comparison, rather than the financial criteria established by the Rural Utilities Service for loans to utilities.
• Currently, GVEA Ratepayers have the ability under the existing bylaws to intervene on bad decisions such as the Healy Clean Coal Power plant fiasco ($300 million total cost and still rising, which was partially funded by GVEA). Under the GVEA G&T Bylaws, we would have no direct say over a future ill-fated plan or decision.
• GVEA G&T Bylaws could be amended without the explicit consent of GVEA Members to allow:
• Expensive/controversial power generation and transmission projects that could only proceed with minimal public oversight (i.e., such as building a nuclear power plant or routing transmission lines through critical habitat).
• The sale or purchase of major power generation and transmission assets.
As concerned Members, we’ve made in-depth comparisons between the current GVEA bylaws, those proposed for GVEA G&T, and GVEA management’s promotional claims. Our analysis is a detailed 2-1/2 page technical report that summarizes: a) how and why these worst case scenarios and many others could unfold, and b) additional problems embedded in GVEA’s promotional materials, and c) the proposed bylaws:
Source Document Links:
• GVEA Bylaws: http://www.gvea.com/about/bylaws/
• GVEA G&T Bylaws: http://www.gvea.com/file/?id=gvea-g-and-t-bylaws—oct06.pdf
• Ruralite GVEA G&T Promotion: http://www.gvea.com/file/?id=nov-ruralite.pdf
• Ballot Issues for 11/20/06 Ballot: http://www.gvea.com/content/?id=gvea-gt&
Another issue, I believe, with the separation of G&T from local distribution and service is conservation. The goal of a G&T coop will be to generate and tranmit electricity – lots of it. Typically, the more you make the cheaper per Kw price. Presently, with GVEA as one entity there is incentive for GVEA to reduce consumption. In theory, reduced use through the promotion of conservation (even financial incentives for large users) can delay the need to build more generation capacity. As a local transmission and service coop GVEA would have no economic incentive to reduce consumption unless the local transmission network has a localize “choke” point that requires new construction.