YOUR ELECTRIC BILL
5/10/23 - Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor joins other states to block Blackrock from gaining control of utilities - The pushback from 16 state attorneys general comes at a time when Anchorage residents are facing a takeover of their power company, Chugach Electric Association, by the Alaska Center for the Environment in order to shut down the use of natural gas [Must Read Alaska].
Chugach Electric Elections
Chugach Consumers 2023 recommendations:
Vote for Bettina CHASTAIN, Harold HOLLIS and Brad AUTHIER
NO on the bylaw change
and SITUATION ANALYSIS
NINE candidates are running for TWO 4-year slots and ONE partial 2-year seat on the Board. They are all pooled together; the two with the highest number of votes will win the two 4-year seats and the one with the third highest number of votes will get the partial 2-year seat:
- Engineer, Business Owner, Environmental Consultant
2023 ENDORSEMENT SUMMARY
Special Interest Groups - Groups seeking or wanting to keep benefits or privileged treatment through political activity or legislation.
Alaska Center/REAP - website - Dropped the “for the Environment” part of its name a few years ago, but its mission has remained the same — support Democrat candidates and build a Democrat, climate-change and anti-oil political base in Alaska controlling local, state, and national government (from Must Read Alaska below).
IBEW Union: Chugach Reliability Group Traditionally, the IBEW Union Chugach employees and their allies have funded campaigns for the Chugach Board timed so that they would hold a friendly majority on the Board just in time for their contract renewals. The worst example of this was approval of a pair of outrageous contracts the day before the Board majority was overturned in April 2007 (Red County - April 28th, 2011 - The forces behind candidates matter - Chugach Reliability Group - By Alex Gimarc)
CURRENT CHUGACH BOARD SITUATION
Chugach Electric customers continue to pay grossly excessive rates. High rates hurt low and fixed income customers the worst. Businesses and government just pass high electricity costs on to the consumer. Your Chugach Electric bill is only one-third the electric cost you are paying...the rest hits you as higher taxes and prices in stores, especially for food.
IBEW Union took decisive control of the Chugach Board in 2008 with the support of the climate-change and anti-oil green Democrats (Alaska Center/REAP and allies). This has been maintained since then but the change this year is that an approaching natural gas supply pinch is focusing concern on the extreme views of the green faction that is against producing or importing natural gas and wants Chugach to abandon the natural gas now used for 80% of its generation.
There has been a fragile 4-3 working majority that appears to have been trying to ensure that the most irresponsible extreme green renewable energy proposals get rational analysis. It has not, however, addressed Chugach's long-standing IBEW Union issues or the extremely high electricity costs which are now over twice the national average, certainly a disgrace for an energy and resource-rich state like Alaska.
This year, the Blue-Green Coalition is making a move to strengthen their control and shift the board even more left, but IBEW appears to be showing some concern by endorsing Harold Hollis instead of Jim Nordlund.
Two members of the Chugach Board (Sam Cason and Mark Wiggin) are working behind the scenes to take over the cooperative with a new pro-RPS majority bloc.
Appearances are that Mark Begich continues to call the shots at Chugach Electric through Julie Hasquet, his former press secretary, now embedded at Chugach as Senior Communications manager. She presides over a heavy-handed transparency cover-up regime which among other things no longer releases the Chugach salary list to the membership. She rejected our request unless we paid over a thousand dollars (this in violation of the Chugach Member Information Bylaw). She has hassled a reporter who wanted to attend a board meeting and tolerated (or favored) her political operative employee who trolled (sent abusive, derogatory messages to) conservatives on company time, from his Chugach desk, while drawing his salary paid out of your bloated electric rates.
Now we have two more Begich operatives entering the scene as Blue-Green Coalition, special interest, dual-endorsed board candidates:
Outside money is heavily funding the Blue-Green Coalition candidates:
Why are they doing this?
To push uneconomic, ill-advised featherbedded projects that would otherwise never be undertaken by any experienced, rational, utility management that had to sell such an overpriced product if there was consumer choice in a competitive electricity market. To do so, they have to impose it on captive electric customers who have no other choice but to pay…customers like Chugach customers.
This is done by going behind the scenes to slip through various subterfuges, the consequences of which are not noticed until it is too late to get out of them. The current example is their desired government-mandated Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) which will be very bad for the Railbelt electric utilities and consumers.
Guaranteed to put average voters to sleep (and even most legislators) the RPS could be slipped through the legislature with little scrutiny and no fiscal assessment unless a solidly pro-consumer Chugach electric board majority is in place to make sure the legislature understands the harm the RPS will have on the public.
The contentious RPS has been introduced in the legislature (HB 121 and SB 101) and it (among many other things):
More information: Chugach Consumers RPS Info Sheet
CHUGACH CONSUMERS ENDORSES
These candidates running as the Chugach Stability Team that DO NOT support the RPS above and believe that enforcing these standards on utilities in Alaska, at this time, in their current form, is absolutely the wrong approach to integrating renewable energy into the current Railbelt grid.
They are not taking contributions and are self-funding:
Chugach rates started skyrocketing from 50% above national averages in 2012/3 until they plateaued in 2017 at over 100% above national averages. Bettina Chastain was chosen board chair in 2018 and Harold Hollis began his board service the same year. After that rates didn’t further escalate. Our recommendation is that both these board officers be continued. They have important experience and are clearly qualified.
They are not politicians or activists and are funding all of their own campaign costs themselves. They are engineers with technical backgrounds who have successfully owned, grown and managed successful companies here in Alaska.
Chastain, Hollis and Authier will be the best choices for the Chugach membership.
5/14/23 - Must Read Alaska - Who to vote for in Chugach Electric board elections Ray Kreig and Liz Vazquez -
5/11/23 - Northern Journal - As natural gas shortage looms, Alaska electric utilities and advocates are feuding over a renewable power bill - Nat Herz - RPS requirements could boost consumers’ electric bills between 5% and 28% [Matanuska Electric Association]... Analyst Alan Mitchell, found that ... $6.7 billion in fuel costs over the next 35 years [could be saved], compared to the $3.2 billion investment in new projects required. KREIG: Must look at discounted cash flow to make any sense of these numbers.
4/17/23 - Must Read Alaska - Why is Alaska Center trying to take over Chugach Electric Board? by Suzanne Downing - The “climate change” industry is making a play to take over the board of Chugach Electric. The current election of board members attracted endorsements from The Alaska Center for three candidates: Shaina Kilcoyne, Susanne Fleek-Green, and Jim Nordlund. These are the candidates who have made promises and pledges to the environmental industry to kill natural gas.
4/12/23 - Vote, because if Chugach Electric board goes woke, we go broke - Rick Whitbeck (Must Read Alaska) -
3/9/23 - Must Read Alaska - Ask MRAK: Whatever happened to ‘Westchester Goon’? by Suzanne Downing - Prolific Twitter troll who goes by the name of “Westchester Goon” (real name, Barry Piser) for the past couple of years has been sending snarling invectives, nastygrams, and snide vilification about Alaska conservatives. Receipts show that Piser has been sending hundreds of these unpleasant Twitter messages about people like Mayor Dave Bronson, his staff, and others in the political sphere. And it appears from the time stamps that he has been doing so from his desk at Chugach Electric, where he works for Julie Hasquet, the communications director, former spokeswoman for Sen. Mark Begich. Goon used to work for the municipality as a public information officer for the Health Department, but now he’s parked at the power company, working for Hasquet, who can be none-too-happy that he has been discovered to be a political operative who is apparently not working on behalf of ratepayers, but on behalf of the Alaska Democratic Party. On the other hand, with her background, she may have been in on it all along. This is, after all, how the Deep State operates in 2023 — hand-in-hand with the media.
3/2/23 - Alaska Beacon - A Ph.D. energy analyst and former state lawmaker got screened out from running for Anchorage’s electric utility board — without an explanation - by Nathaniel Herz.
1/3/23 - Alaska Beacon - Are Alaska utilities up to the challenge of climate change and a looming gas crunch? - by Nathaniel Herz - Clean energy advocates are increasingly criticizing Anchorage’s electric utility for doing business behind closed doors.
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