Reader: It’s time to take responsibility as HEA member

Posted: Monday, April 16, 2007

Do you have electricity? If so, you’re probably a member of Homer Electric Association. You’re more than just a customer, because you help elect a board of directors to guide HEA. You’re responsible for the way it does business.

I’ve been a member for 36 years, but I’ve done a lousy job of living up to my responsibility. Oh, I usually vote at election time, but you could count the number of board meetings I’ve attended on the fingers of one hand. And I’ve only written to staff or board with my ideas a couple of times.

So it’s my responsibility as much as anyone’s that HEA seems to be taking a serious turn for the worse. Had I done my part as a member, maybe our little Rural Electrical Cooperative wouldn’t be switching to coal.

For decades our electricity came mostly from natural gas and hydroelectric generation -- pretty environmentally benign. But if things go as planned, we’ll soon be burning coal. Then whenever I turn on my television or fire up the old skilsaw I’ll be responsible for feeding the climate change monster -- and all the other nasty stuff associated with coal.

I need to start taking my responsibility as an HEA member seriously. How about you? Write letters to the editor. Contact the board with concerns and suggestions. Maybe go share those thoughts at the annual meeting and mark the HEA ballot for a candidate willing to consider better options than coal. Or at least someone who will demand that any coal generating facility run by HEA employs the best available pollution abatement systems, including effective CO2 sequestration technology.

Mike O’Meara


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