Letter to the Editor - Tri-State Neighbor - Pat Doak

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To the editor:

There's a Lot of Value in Keeping Electric Co-ops Together

Have you seen the letters from Dakota Energy, their adds in newspapers, videos on our Dakota Energy website, on Facebook, and radio adds badmouthing East River and Basin Electric, and their costs? Careful about the pot calling the kettle black.

Dakota Energy has criticized East River for taking out adds to tell their side, then Dakota did it, and still is. They even recently published the wages of East River employees. Dakota didn’t mention their wages. Hmm.

There must be another reason why Dakota Energy wants to break our contract with East River. Don’t think it’s East Rivers or Basin Electric’s costs. Why don’t all of the other coops in the state have bundled rates higher than Dakota Energy? (Bundled rates include all costs and fees. Like the $52 facility fee we pay).

Why aren’t the other 24 members of East River suing them? Maybe because they recognize the value of being in a co-op, spreading out risk, economic benefits to members, education, concerns for community, political and religious neutrality. Maybe because every one of their bundled rates are cheaper than Dakota Energy’s rates, by a lot! And, they aren’t trying to blame someone else for their high costs!

According to the Energy Information Administration, rates are:

  • Central Electric 11.94 cents
  • Codington-Clark Electric 9.32
  • Northern Electric 9.69
  • Oahe Electric 9.74
  • Dakota Energy 14.28

Why would a private company come into our co-op and help them sever ties with a 70-year ally, partner, friend, East River? Why would our co-op management go along with that? Why would our co-op send a letter of intent to a power marketing company without consulting us?

Must be a lot of money at stake. Yours and mine.

Pat Doak


Note: This letter to the editor originally appeared in the Tri-State Neighbor


Posted July 29, 2021