Rick Whitbeck: Vote, because if Chugach Electric board goes woke, we go broke



Don’t look now, but everyone’s favorite group of left-wing (nut) warriors is trying to shove radical candidates onto the Chugach Electric Board of Directors. Let’s disappoint them.

The Alaska Center (for the Environment and every other woke issue) has endorsed the following three candidates for Chugach’s board:  Shaina Kilcoyne, Susanne Fleek-Green, and Jim Nordlund.

Kilcoyne is the most dangerous of the candidates, as she is a true believer in #ClimateCult mentality that we need to stop traditional energy use and development today.  

The combination of her background fighting against Alaska’s resource-based economy, her climate-warrior activities, her involvement with the Alaska Venture Fund (anyone heard of the ‘big brother’ New Venture Fund, and its leading funder, George Soros?) and her proud co-authoring of the Municipality of Anchorage’s Climate Action Plan – a boondoggle for ‘green’ energy advocates but bad for Anchorage taxpayers – mean Kilcoyne would be an unmitigated disaster for Chugach’s members and ratepayers.

Fleek-Green, a current superintendent with the National Park Service and a Cal Berkeley graduate (not exactly a pro-development background), would team with Kilcoyne to push Chugach away from reliable and low-cost Cook Inlet natural gas toward less-reliable, higher-cost renewables as a primary source of our electricity. 

Nordlund, a former state legislator and previous Chugach board member, is seeking to continue the board’s lurch leftward.  His candidate statement confirms he believes in a move toward renewables and away from gas. Nordlund, although the most rational of the three endorsed candidates, still gave the Alaska Center enough supportive information endorsing the ‘go-green’ agenda to get their support.

Chugach ratepayers need only look westward toward Fire Island to see that wind isn’t a consistent source of power (this morning, as I write this, only two of the eleven are turning in our continued snowfall), or at our monthly bills to see the “FIW renewable energy adj” line-item, which is an additional cost associated with integrating Fire Island into the grid. 

Rational, everyday Alaskans know solar is unreliable approximately half the year, and we know that integrating all those so-called solutions into the grid is expensive.  Why would we vote for people who want to take Chugach down a path that lowers reliability, increases cost, hurts ratepayers, and only increases reliance on Communist China, who controls the supply chain for ‘green’ energy technology?

Voting for the Chugach board begins this week and ends with the Annual Meeting on May 19th. Even if you haven’t voted in the election before, it is time to start this year!  

We’ve seen the activation of the Left in municipal elections throughout Southcentral Alaska.  Don’t let the same extremists take control of our energy grid – when you get your packet, turn it in, and remember (and reject!) the three candidates who want to move Chugach away from reliability and toward radicalism.

Rick Whitbeck is the Alaska State Director for Power The Future, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for American energy jobs and opportunities. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @PTFAlaska.


  1. A vote for the nutcase Lefties insures multiple rate hikes and plenty of on-grid ugliness. Unplug the wackos and let them rub each other for sparks and lights.

      • Rick, totally off the grid. Burning wood and candles now, and relocated far from the Democrat gestapo. Nothing like reclaiming your sanity, far from Alaska’s biggest cesspool of miscreants.

  2. And, Rick, the other half of the year when solar is available, I hardly need any electricity. Thanks for the insight.

  3. If you’re counting on south central to vote responsibly, you’re screwed.

    Did you not notice the last muni elections?

  4. All of the Railbelt Utilities combined would not equal a small utility in the Lower 48, local politics has prevented mergers and power sharing gets hung up with Contracts. Support candidates that will push for a merged central electrical utility

    • Small utilities in the lower 48 do not extend over half of the geographical area of the lower 48 either. Apples and oranges comparison. It is exceedingly difficult to imagine it being better if they are all merged. They will just be a bigger, more insensitive, government authorized monopoly.

      Also, to the those who extol the virtues of solar – I would say possibly it could help, but would ONLY be acceptable if the solar panels and all the controls were manufactured in the U.S., and only if whoever the heck is in control of the “spray on clouds” knocks it off and stops diminishing solar’s potential in the places where it has some.

    • Brilliant concept Frank, however the utilities as they exist were paid for by their members. Would you care to elaborate on exactly how you can make this happen legally and with keeping all the stakeholders and members whole? Or are you a fan of the communist way of the government taking over everything unilaterally? Please enlighten all of us in the proletariat class.

  5. This election was planned:
    Step One-Install Berkowitz and buy MLP,
    Step Two-Integrate MLP rate payers into Chugach; Integrate New Online Pay System;
    Step Three-Elect radical leftists to board and integrate policies not inline with customer base;
    Step Four-Announce Anchorage Utilities will be all-electric by 2035;
    Step Five-Implement full communism by non-elected leaders and populate death camps operated by FEMA for those who will not comply.

    Ever wonder why Alaska is losing their population base?

  6. One of the first things they will do is install Smart Meters – the ultimate control tool for your electricity.

  7. Thanks for the heads up, I will make sure to vote this year. I usually try to find out who the union candidates are, but I depend on articles like this and mailers to alert me to who those folks are. Now there is a new threat.

  8. Voters enabled Anchorage to become a sh_thole, so why should we expect anything different in the CEA vote?

  9. The railbelt has a lot of hydro resources, that will pair well (assuming pumped storage is included in new projects) with the non-firm renewables (wind, solar, etc). While hydro is not considered cool these days, it is renewable, and a firm power resource. Too bad the Sierra Club shut down Susitna in the 70s and 80s, we’d have burned a lot less Cook Inlet gas and have cheap and reliable power. Kinda like Bradley Lake and Eklutna.

    Let’s take a look at Watana (Susitna) again. Its a $5B project now, but it is still a good idea.

    • dan: the Sierra Club did NOT shut down Watana. It died under its own weight. Also, Eklutna dam stopped salmon for nearly 100 years. The dam has been removed.

  10. This is just like our April Election. Only the union workers who work for Chugach make sure all of them and their friends vote. The apathy of the everyday person doesn’t realize how much they pay.

    Unless Republicans do this will it continue:

    1. April elections must be moved to November. The number of Republicans who vote in November will easily elect Assembly members.

    2. Republicans need to use call banks like the unions for this Chugach elections.

    Both probably will never happen.

    • You forgot one:

      3. Quit conditioning people to believe that only the presidential election matters.

  11. Chugach isn’t the only utility holding board elections and they aren’t the only utility with hard-core leftists running. If you get a ballot for your local utility and don’t vote then you only have yourself to blame when your rates go up for solar panels and windmills.

  12. Chugach Electric is already on an extreme downhill slide to insolvency. It will take a lot of effort AND a much better board of directors to undue and correct the financial demise that is now completely underway. The current board members are out of touch and always come up with new ways to waste “our” revenue and other resources. Giving the CEO $500,000.00 per year plus benefits for his job in Anchorage is wasteful. Have you noticed that they no longer offer a ratepayer appreciation dinner at the Denaina Center? The board opted for a much less expensive sandwich box with chips that we balance on our laps while sitting on folding chairs outside. Why this change? They are running out of our money to spend on themselves. And the ratepayers don’t matter.

  13. Solar and Wind produce millions of batteries that are far far more lethal to our environment than any fossil fuel or hydro consumables . The millions of tons of battery waste polluting rivers, swamps, and laying to rot into the ground through out the United States and Alaska is not only alarming, it’s sickening, the broken and discarded Solar panels pile up all over the interior of Alaska and elsewhere, all this while batteries that have short life spans pile up everywhere, plus most these newer batteries we have today are no longer are recycled material because they haven’t figured out what to do with this highly toxic materials in them!

    Don’t let these psychotic green energy screwballs fool you. They’re pushing all this nonsense in order to re distribute the goverment dollars that go into developing all this trash.

    If solar and wind were such a benefit to mankind, it would have taken off a hundred years ago, but that was a time when common sense prevailed over stupidity, and long before carpet begging politicians learned how to fleece the American taxpayers out of trillions of dollars.

    I said it before and I’ll say it again, someone needs to do a filmed documentary on the battery and plastics waste and epidemic that plagues much of the state of Alaska , it’s disgusting and vile when you see what piles up in nearly all these villages and even out in the tundra, it’s a crime far bigger then any puff of smoke that disappears into a 30 mph wind and disappears in seconds. The battery pollution will destroy this planet long before any combustion engine will!

  14. I served with Nordlund on the Chugach Board 2007 – 2010. He and his IBEW cronies finally ran me off in 2010 accusing me of wanting to put mushroom clouds over the railbelt. Great ad campaign, which sadly worked.

    If you want to have some fun with Nordlund, ask him about the back channel negotiation between him and CIRI before the newly constituted Chugach Board took up Fire Island Wind in 2010. Neither the Board nor Chugach knew they were talking. There were some real interesting e-mails floating around at the time. There was a reason Phase II of Fire Island Wind was never built. Electing Nordlund or any of the rest of these greens will bring it along with higher electric costs to Chugach ratepayers.

    The Alaska Center for the Environment thinks they can take over Chugach and MEA so as to push for a carbon-free future. Think wind, solar and tidal, as they will never discuss nukes, Watana or natural gas.

    Expect a massive rate increase this fall as the bill comes due from the Chugach – ML&P merger. Chugach spent all the free money rather than using it to pay off the debt it was supposed to pay off. Vote for these guys, and you will enter HL Mencken Land, where the voters get what they want, and get it good and hard. Cheers –

  15. The average person has little to no idea who any of these candidates are, nor any idea how to find out who they are. And if they did most are too lazy and too stupid to vote.

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