2021 LPEA Board Election

Announcing Local First’s Support for
LPEA Board Candidates

1/3 of La Plata Electric Association’s Board of Directors seats are up for election – which means prioritization of local, renewable energy is at stake. Local First’s Board of Directors are encouraging support for the following candidates:

Over the last decade, our members’ voices in prioritizing local, clean, and renewable energy has become increasingly louder. It is therefore our duty as an organization to support the leaders at LPEA who will not only listen to our priorities as a community, but implement those on a day-to-day basis. By supporting the board candidates that will be the most effective at implementing local, renewable energy goals we are making our home a better place to live. Read more.

LPEA Board Director Candidate Forum

One-third of La Plata Electric Association’s Board of Directors seats are up for election! View the facilitated discussion with the candidates to help inform your vote.

Ballots will be mailed to all LPEA members on May 17, 2021.
Ballots are due June 16, 2021 at 4 p.m!

Election results will be announced during LPEA’s Annual Meeting on June 17 at 6 PM: RSVP!

Q1: Durango and La Plata County have a high cost of living. How do you plan to keep electric rates reasonable for families and businesses struggling to pay the bills?

Q2: How do you see LPEA’s relationship with Tri-State Generation and Transmission and their current energy portfolio? What, if anything, would you like to see changed?

Q3: What do you see as the best way for LPEA to address climate impacts in the next decade?

Q4: What would you say separates you from the other candidate running in your district?

Q5: There have been reliability discussions in past forums. Do you believe that Tri-State is responsible for providing reliable energy to LPEA? Can you speak to this in relation to balancing authorities like WAPA (Western Area Power Administration, and the Western Area Colorado Missouri that balances our region) and their role in providing reliability?

Q6: What role do you see Electric Vehicles playing on the grid and what role LPEA would play in that?

Candidate Statements

Importance of This Election

These days, most people understand the importance of shopping locally to support our economy and keep dollars close to home. But, what about buying local energy? The same concept applies. Local First is a non-profit alliance of locally-owned, independent businesses and organizations working together to build an economy that values people, the planet, and prosperity for everyone. As such, we advocate for keeping energy dollars re-circulating locally to create jobs, support the local energy industry, and maintain our quality of life.

A prime example of economic prosperity that is leaving our community is found in our local not-for-profit electrical distribution and public power cooperative, the La Plata Electric Association (LPEA). LPEA relies on Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association for power along with 43 other members across Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska and Wyoming. Currently, our energy comes from LPEA, which is part of a larger energy co-op called Tri-State. LPEA is required to purchase 95% of our electricity from Tri-State until 2050 because of a long-term contract that was renewed with Tri-State. Tri-State’s energy is over 60% coal produced, making them the 2nd worst climate emitting electricity producer in the country.

If we could produce just 10% of our power locally that would keep
$7 million a year here locally to circulate in our community.

Local Businesses Prioritizing Local, Renewable Energy

In 2019, 120 businesses and 1,500 individuals, signed Local First’s Power Local petition that resulted in both the City of Durango and LPEA setting impressive carbon emission goals. The following businesses have extended their support to Local First for this race to ensure our community’s priority of local, renewable energy stays front and center during this board election:

Identify Your Voting District

Candidates by District:
District 1 – Archuleta County: Kirsten Skeehan (Incumbent), Veronica Medina
District 2 – South and West La Plata County: Kohler McInnis (Incumbent), Mark Walser
District 3 – City of Durango: Ted Compton, Bill Waters
District 4 – North and East La Plata County: Tim Wheeler (Incumbent), John Purser