OPINION: The other election: Chugach Electric’s board race

There is an election taking place in Southcentral Alaska, and it is not the one front and center on Anchorage residents’ minds. It is the annual election for the Chugach Electric Association’s (CEA) board of directors. There are four candidates running for the two available seats: two incumbents with four previous years of questionable decision-making, and two new challengers looking to bring stability to your local electric cooperative.

While the exact origins of the phrase, “what goes around comes around” has been debated, we can all agree that actions do, in fact, have consequences. This can be proven by looking back to middle school science class, where we learned Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This principle can also be demonstrated less physically, by reviewing the numerous choices we make each day. As adults, we take responsibility for our choices and actions and the intended and unintended consequences of them.

Consider then, the consequences of re-electing two candidates who:

• Voted for a nearly 6% rate increase to CEA members.

• Voted to raise board member pay from $300 per day (2023) to $600 per day (2025), peaking at an astounding $750 per day in 2026.

• Voted for a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that “broadens the focus of the financial bottom line to include social and environmental responsibility” and dictates that the cost of compliance be recoverable in rates.

Elected and appointed officials will likely not be around to be held responsible for the consequences of their actions. This is particularly concerning when it comes to decisions that have long-term implications for our community, such as those related to energy infrastructure and rates. Members of the Chugach Electric Association have the power to shape the future of our cooperative through our votes in the Board of Directors election.


It is crucial that we carefully consider the past actions and decisions of the incumbents and evaluate whether they align with our best interests as Chugach Electric ratepayers and community members.

The two new challengers in this election, Todd Lindley and Dan Rodgers, both professional engineers, offer a refreshing perspective and the opportunity for change. By bringing new voices to the board of directors, we can work towards a more stable, transparent, and accountable cooperative that prioritizes the needs of its members over what may turn out to be ephemeral environmental policies.

The deadline to vote is May 17; when casting your vote in this year’s Chugach Electric election, remember that the choices made today will have consequences for years to come. Let’s hold our elected board members accountable and ensure that the Chugach Electric Association board serves the best interests of Southcentral Alaska.

Nathan Andrews is a lifelong Alaskan, husband, father, construction professional and Chugach Electric ratepayer.

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