Letter to the Editor - Huron Daily Plainsman - Twyla Folk

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Letter to the Editor:

At Dakota Energy’s town hall meeting, Chad Felderman said he has a fiduciary responsibility to member-owners.

What do you call it when Dakota Energy controlled the number of people who could attend, did not let East River and Basin speak, answered only selected on-line and staged questions, and did not allow anyone attending to ask questions?

Chad also said that they were not trying to break up East River. What do you call it when Dakota Energy is suing East River to break away? Members of cooperatives have benefits that nonmembers don’t have. Dakota Energy is putting their members at the back of the line for repairs for emergencies on the East River System.

I could go on about half-truths and twisted information given at the meeting, but here is other information.

Guzman supplies power to Delta Montrose and Kit Carson cooperatives. The Energy Information Administration shows the 2019 average retail residential prices:

South Dakota - 9.96 cents/kwh (Dakota Energy rates = 14.28c)
Colorado - 10.17 cents/kwh (Delta Montrose rates = 14.29c)
New Mexico - 8.99 cents/kwh (Kit Carson rates = 18.55c)

Basin Electric can buy off the open market and has generation. Guzman is a for-profit energy broker from Florida that doesn’t have generation or investment in the infrastructure. Guzman says they offer a fixed rate in their contracts, but they will have fuel- adjustment clauses to charge whatever they want. Power on the open market reached almost $50/kwh during the recent Texas crisis. Demand for power will increase dramatically with electrical vehicles and recharging stations.

East River has served member/owners very professionally and efficiently for the past 70 years. We need their long-termed contract to provide for future capacity upgrades and steady, reliable service. Dakota Energy needs to stop the badmouthing. Buy local/stay local benefits our community.

Twyla Folk

Posted May 8, 2021

Note: This letter to the editor originally appeared in the Huron Daily Plainsman