Letter to the Editor
June 7, 2012
To the editor:
Golden Valley Electric Association says the Northern Alaska Environmental Center is the reason for our super-high electricity rates. I don’t buy it. Let’s take a closer peek.
First look at the subsidized power the big mines and other highly profitable GVEA industrial customers enjoy. Their huge electrical demand, which is supplied by the hyper-expensive oil-fired generation at North Pole, is the largest reason for our high rates. If not for these industrial loads, these high cost generators would hardly need to operate.
Second, look at the huge salaries the GVEA executives are making. Brian Newton makes more than the president of the United States. There are also GVEA vice-presidents and PR staff making almost that much.
Third, many utilities around the country have designed full-scale conservation programs that have lowered the demand sufficiently to eliminate the immediate need for building new expensive powerplants, at a fraction of the investment.
I don’t buy GVEA’s theme that Healy Clean Coal is the fastest and only way to lower our rates. First, give us a fairer rate structure and tell highly profitable industries to pay their own way. The current rate structure is a rip-off of GVEA’s residential ratepayers; it gives the big guys a break they neither need nor deserve, and it discourages conservation.