(February 14, 2019 – Simla, Colo.) Following an open meeting of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, where the commissioners indicated they would assert jurisdiction in Delta-Montrose Electric Association’s complaint to the commission, Tri-State Chairman and President Rick Gordon made the following statement. Gordon is a businessman and farmer from Simla, Colo., chairs Tri-State’s board and is a member of Mountain View Electric Cooperative, based in Limon, Colo.
“The commission’s assertion of jurisdiction is unnecessary and unwarranted, but is not unexpected. A private contract dispute, even between utilities, does not belong at the commission. This matter appropriately belongs in the courts.
DMEA asks the commission to substitute its judgment over that of 43 democratically elected cooperative directors across four states, and DMEA is ramping up political pressure on the commission from elected officials and special interests who do not bear the financial risks of our members. DMEA’s actions present an unreasonable and untenable risk to our members and our association.
We have tried to continue discussions and negotiate with DMEA. Since DMEA refuses to negotiate this contract matter, the issue must be decided in the courts.”
Tri-State is a not-for-profit association of 43 member electric cooperatives and public power districts in four states that together deliver reliable, affordable and responsible power to more than a million rural electricity consumers across nearly 200,000 square miles of the west.