This is a friendly reminder that online voting in the Chugach Electric Association board election ends this Friday, May 19th, at 3:00pm.
Cook Inlet is at an energy crossroads. Our region is running out of cheap natural gas. The state Department of Natural Resources has projected this since 2009, and yet the Chugach Electric Association board of directors has done little to diversify the utility away from its dangerous dependency on natural gas. In fact, over the last 10 years Chugach has increased the proportion of its total generation that comes from renewables by less than 1%. This decade of inaction comes in spite of the fact that the cost of renewable energy has plummeted over the same period, as evidence by the fact that over 83% of all new electricity capacity installed in the United States this year will come from wind, solar, and batteries. In contrast, current Chugach Electric representatives have told the state legislature that importing expensive liquefied natural gas (LNG) is the answer to gas shortages in Cook Inlet. In the next five days, we have the opportunity to elect three new board members that all favor diversifying Chugach’s generation portfolio, from a more than 80% reliance on natural gas to a much larger proportion of renewable energy. A diversified electricity portfolio with more stably-priced, local renewables will protect ratepayers from volatile gas prices and conserve local Cook Inlet natural gas for heating.
If you are a Chugach Electric member and have not yet voted, please make sure to cast your ballot for REAP’s endorsed candidates Shaina Kilcoyne, Suzanne Fleek-Green, and Jim Nordlund before 3:00pm this Friday. Please also encourage everyone you know who is a Chugach Electric member to vote in this important election.