Michael Saftler for SMPA Board
by Edwin Schlapfer
May 29, 2008 | 3539 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print

I am very happy to be supporting Michel Saftler for the San Miguel Power Association Bboard of Directorsmember. We desperately need change on the SMPA board.

Last springyear, when the crucial vote came up the at SMPA Bboard of Directors was faced with a crucial decision about regarding the extending our power purchase sion of the contract with Tri-State Power & Generation from the years 20400 to 2050 in order for Tri-State to secure to financing for me more coal- fired power plants. As an electric bill payer (and hence a part-owner of the SMPA cooperative), Because of this I knew I had to get involved in SM in this issue to help PA, as a member educateing and speaktalking with the board members to urge them not to not tie all of us to this problematic power source for the next half-century. With Tri-State at that point over 99 percent non-renewable energy, and carbon taxation on the horizon, this puts us in a financially risky position.

Michael Saftler understood the importance and implications of this vote and expressed his concerns to many of us. He also helped initiate and circulate a petition urging the board to not extend the contract. He was not alone. Unfortunately for us the only board member voting against the contract extension was Wes Perrin. Our neighbors at Delta Montrose Electric Association did not extend the contract. The San Miguel Ccounty Ccommissioners passed a resolution asking that SMPA Board we not sign the contract. Telluride town council passed a resolution asking the SMPA Board to we not sign the contract. Ouray County Commissioners and The Town of Mountain Village Town Council also both passed strongly worded resolutions for the SMPA Board, stating among many things: “ abundant opportunities exist for conservation, energy- efficiency, demand-side management, renewable resources, CHP and new coal gasification technology” and that it would be , “a risky financial decision.” and failed When the SMPA Board finally voted, Tri state is over 99% non renewable in power.only one board member heard the citizens and the SMPA co-op owners and voted against the contract extension.

We need new leadership at the SMPA board:. Michael Saftler will provide that. The old thinking does not work anymore. In fact, the San Miguel County voters in 2004 spoke loudly for change and voted an overwhelming 73 percent for Amendment 37 (a state renewable-energy standard). We know we need it. Every resolution mentioned above sent to the SMPA Board said this. We cannot afford to continue business as usual, and we must begin by changing our board. By coincidence last year, we even had America’s premier climate paleontologist speak at the library before the board’sthe vote, and the only item he repeated three times in the lecture was America needs to put an immediate stop to any new pulverized coal power plants.

We have an obligation to ourselves and future generations to completely change the makeup of our board and it’s management as our neighbors in Delta Montrose have done years ago. Michael has been open- minded and wanting to understand the relevant details when he needs to make decisions. He has been very active in our community on many different items for many years and is always interested and willing to learn more. Michael would be an excellent member on the board. We need him.

Please vote for Michael Saftler for the SMPA Board of Directors next week when you receive your ballot in the mail.


– Edwin Schlapfer
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