To the editor: Electing Derek Miller to the GVEA Board is an opportunity to fundamentally change the direction of our electric utility’s Board Directors. The seat is currently held by Gary Newman who represents the far-left divide of the political spectrum (my opinion).
Derek has lived here in Fairbanks all or most of his life and is part of a new generation that takes an interest in ways to better our community. While a student at UA he was the student member of the Board of Regents. He has earned sufficient initials after his name to compete with most of academia. He has served on a variety of non-profit and business-related organizations here in Fairbanks. From his bio, Derek says his favorite activity is spending time with his family and two sons. He’s well rounded.
The issue here is renewals vs electric rates. Mr. Newman’s emphasis is on renewals and phasing out of GVEA’s coal and diesel plants. Although in his Q&A’s, Mr. Newman uses the phrase “opportunities for cost-effective renewable sources”, we all know in Alaska this is pretty much an oxymoron. Derek Miller’s objective, on the other hand, is more rate driven. GVEA’s coal plants are in excellent condition and are the most affordable generation available. The next generation of batteries may help renewals, but even with that, it will be difficult to overcome the resilient advantage of coal and diesel. I’d like to see GVEA work keeping rates low and reliability high and stop chasing windmills. I think Derek is the better of the two to do that.