Sunday, July 31, 2016

Thoughts on the GOP platform and Rev. Burns message

The GOP Convention gave me a reason to read the 2016 Republican Platform which is the distillation of their rank and file’s world outlook along with their wish list, so it’s worth paying attention to. I had intended to report on it’s sketchy content.  Instead, I found myself overwhelmed by their attitude, which needs to be considered before the content can make sense.

For someone like me, a liberty loving rationalist who’s into the scientific enlightenment, the one that rescued humanity from religious superstition, someone who believes in evidence-based constructive learning about each other and this Earth from which we were born and which we shall all die back into, it’s a horrific document.

What made it especially frightening is its absolute self-certainty, along with a disregard, if not hatred, for all who are outside of their religious/philosophical tribe. It reads like there’s no more room for reason with this new Republican crowd, it’s their way or else, consequences be damned.

Here’s how they start: “We believe in American exceptionalism. We believe the United States of America is unlike any other nation on earth.” This sounds more like over-compensating barroom braggadocio than any sort of serious adult contemplation about our complicated world and USA’s place in it.

“Exceptionalism”? America certainly is unlike any other country in the world, but does that make us, its citizens, superior to all other peoples on our planet? Isn’t that totally counter to what our Declaration of Independence declares - “All men are created equal” and all of that.

Here it’s worth pointing out what most overlook - it’s not we who made our country exceptional. It was the land and resource cornucopia our pioneering forebears found from sea to shining sea. The land and its opportunities made us an exceptional people! It was not the other way around! Yet, the GOP willfully ignores such physical and historical realities.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Encouraging electric co-ops to resist Tri-State's hobbles.

Encouraging co-ops to look to renewables

Peter Miesler
Four Corners Free Press
July 2016 | page 20
{My previous post provides an introduction and the background for this FCFP column}

It started with an email that read: La Plate Electric Association’s board of directors is meeting on June 15 to consider a blanket waiver giving Tri-State Generation and Transmission, our power provider, the right to be the primary negotiator of ALL our renewable energy projects going forward. Given Tri-State’s reliance on coal, given how it is stonewalling affordable solar and other renewables …”

The email’s plea was simple, if you care about developing renewable energy, get informed, write the LPEA's BoD, and attend the upcoming June Board of Directors meeting at 9AM for your short opportunity to speak and share concerns.

My curiosity roused, I started ‘googling’ and reading related articles that pieced together an interesting regional story worth sharing. To understand what happened at LPEA this past month, you need to go back to the 1978 passage of PURPA (Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act) which mandated electrical co-ops such as LPEA start purchasing some of their power from renewable energy sources.

Tri-State Generation and Transmission tries hobbling LPEA's renewable energy options

I submitted a column to the Four Corners Free Press for their July issue reporting on La Plata Electric Association's board of directors considering the forfeiture of their future negotiation rights on renewable energy projects to notoriously renewable energy hostile Tri-State Generation and Transmission.

Researching that column I came upon many informative articles that I didn't have the space to credit, so I've decided to collect the better ones and share a few key quotes from each for easy reference. 

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June 14. 2016
By Jessica Pace Herald staff writer
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June 15. 2016
By Jessica Pace Herald staff writer
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6/15/2016 - LPEA Statement
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June 21, 2016
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February 18, 2016
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July 10, 2015
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April 2, 2015
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June 19, 2009