Harold Hollis: Don’t be fooled by the incumbents on the ballot in Chugach Electric Association’s election

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Harold Hollis

By HAROLD HOLLIS

It is election time of year for all Chugach Electric Association members to elect directors to represent you on the Chugach Electric Association Board. You should have received an email confirming your email address and information on voting. Voting is easy and only takes a few minutes online.

Two board seats are open this election. Voting in the annual election began on April 17 and ends May 17. Two candidates will be elected to four-year terms on the Chugach Board of Directors. The four candidates, two of which are incumbents, are running this year.

The two incumbents, Sam Cason and Mark Wiggin, who are endorsed by the dark money supported Alaska Center (for the Environment) and Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP), are running an extensive media campaign promising support for lower rates, energy security and renewable energy. Who doesn’t want these things?

But campaign promises and smooth talk is cheap. Let’s look at the recent voting record of these two and see if their actions match their rhetoric.

– The two incumbents have voted solidly in line with the Alaska Center and REAP directors whose sole priority is intermittent and unsustainable wind and solar power. Their votes allow the renewable coalition to control the Chugach board.
– They voted to increase your electric rates on average 5.8% with further increases to come.
– They voted to increase their own Board compensation over 150%.
– They voted to approve a resolution supporting a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) with unreasonable goals that will increase Chugach’s costs and incur financial penalties that will ultimately increase your electric rates even more.
– They have voiced support for NVE’s proposal for removal the Eklutna dam which would eliminate Chugach’s lowest cost power generation. So much for support of reliable renewable energy.
– And, moreover, they have taken no significant action to ensure Chugach has a long-term gas supply to keep your lights on! Their focus has been on importing LNG at a cost of two to four times what Chugach currently pays for natural gas.

Don’t be fooled. Every one of these actions taken by these two directors will increase your electric rates and jeopardize our energy security. Does this sound like directors that have your best interests in mind? If not, I encourage you to vote for Dan Rogers and Todd Lindley. Dan and Todd strongly support all sources of energy and power, including renewables where they make sense.

They are solid professionals with engineering and management experience who will bring sound business decisions and unbiased rational problem solving to the Chugach Board.
You can read their bios at this link and this one.

This is a very important election. Chugach needs a board that makes rational decisions for the long term benefit of its members, you and me.

Dan Rogers and Todd Lindley will bring unbiased fresh new ideas and will explore all reasonable and practical solutions to Chugach’s energy challenges now.

Harold L. Hollis, PE is a past Chugach Electric Association board director, and is a business owner and professional engineer.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Mark Wiggin is the worst person possible for service on the Chugach board. After receiving no assistance from an administrative manager at Chugach about an administrative problem, I called Wiggin to ask for his help in resolving my billing concern. Rather than listen to my concern and work with me towards a solution, he changed the subject to a disrespectful speech for me alone about a real problem. It seems his “real problem” took place during an expensive snow ski trip he planned for his family. This was the only thing he would discuss. He evaluated my situation as a non-problem. He said the problem he encountered at a family ski trip was an actual problem.
    Wiggin has NO situational awareness or concern for concerns of Chugach rate payers. His only responsibilities seem to be about increasing his personal status, remuneration, and benefits, not to mention better vacations for his family.
    We deserve better .. DO NOT VOTE FOR MARK WIGGIN!

  2. One note: Mark Wiggin and Sam Cason voted AGAINST NVE’s proposal to remove the dam, and voted FOR CEA’s engineered plan to keep the dam in place. They say that they cannot remove the dam because of it’s a firm power source and CEA needs that right now.

    • Probably a strategic vote for the election, as they can always reverse the next time it is brought up in front of the Board. Their vote got the attention of Mount Constant, which blew for a day or two, withdrawing his endorsement in one of the more incoherent Tweets I’ve seen in a long time. Cheers –

  3. Well if the board members have anything to do with outage mitigation then fire them all, VOTE them all out. They suck at the job of managing the clearing of vulnerability of the power infrastructure. I can garrontee days without power after a wind storm same part of town without failure. I would love to see the actual history of outages across Anchorage. Beyond piss poor management. It’s really fun in the middle of winter and you call and they tell you after a day and a half they working on finding the cause. Give me a break where’s the technology ridiculous.

  4. Thank you Hollis! We miss you and the days of common sense before the Alaska Center and REAP took over the utility.

  5. Thanks for the article, Harold. Todd and I have been hustling to get our supporters out. We have to with all the support the Alaska Center (for the Environment) and REAP have thrown towards the incumbents.

    I’ve worked in the Power industry in the state for 35 years. Whether I was at Chugach, or after I co-founded the largest power system specific engineering/construction firm in the state and one of the largest on the west coast, I have never seen – or even conceptualized a situation where, in four years, we would be so limited on generation options like this. Normal utility practice is you have generation projects planned 30 years in advance, and in design 10 years in advance. I sold my firm a few years ago back to the employees and now feel like this is my area to “give back” to the state I grew up in.

    I like Sam and Mark as people, but I feel, regardless if it’s an alliance to ACE and REAP, or their honest beliefs, the “wind and solar only” agenda is going to result in less reliable and more expensive power for the Chugach member.

    Evidence? They voted for the renewable portfolio standard (RPS), which disallows any combustion generation (including “clean coal”), small nukes, etc; while I haven’t heard them back the removal of the Eklutna Dam, their primary backer, the Alaska Center (for the Environment) has. Given this, it seems the only allowable plan for the railbelt is non-firm renewables, like wind and solar, with battery storage.

    If anyone has any questions for todd or me, feel free to contact us via our website – votechugachstability.org.

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