I’d like to expand on Doug Ohms’ April 30 letter to the ADN, which did a good job of speaking to the upcoming election for the Chugach Electric Association board of directors. Ohms made a valid observation that a special interest group, Alaska Center (for the Environment), supports new board members that want to “take over” the CEA board and advance renewable energy options. Ohms does not support these new board members. Neither do I.
Instead, I support three of the current CEA board members: Bettina Chastain, Harold Hollis and Brad Authier. So far, much has been said about the attractiveness of the Alaska Center candidates because they support renewable energy options, suggesting that the current board members are ignoring renewable energy.
In reality, that is far from the truth. Their track record clearly supports renewables, but they are not willing to rush headlong down that path, which could jeopardize the reliability of electric energy.
But don’t take my word for it. Instead, take the time to read Robert Seitz’s recent commentary in the April 27 edition of the ADN. It’s a pretty dense read, but Seitz has studied the Alaska energy marketplace in detail and is outspoken in his support for the current CEA board plan. Seitz is not opposed to renewable energy, nor am I, but contends that we must keep the natural gas flowing for now until new energy sources are sustainable and resilient. A cautious but wise approach. Please vote before May 19.
— Mike Jens
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