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“Clean coal is a contradiction in terms…”

WALSENBURG- San Isabel Electric Association held its annual shareholder meeting last Saturday at John Mall High School.  Officially, 399 registered shareholders showed up, but a great many more simply came to play bingo, eat free food and grab free goodies.

    The actual meeting part of the day began at 1 pm, and Master of Ceremonies Board president Tom Holgerson quickly ran through a list of official acts and votes.

    Things bogged down however, when he asked if there was any new business to be brought up.

    Chip Kraynyk (left) of La Veta immediately raised his hand, and then marched up to the podium. Kraynek thanked the staff and the linemen who keep the power on, but then took the Board of Directors to task about not using greener forms of energy production.  Kraynyk also chastised SIEA for relying so heavily on coal-burning power plants, which he said SIEA descibes as clean coal.  “There is no such thing as clean coal,” Kraynyk said.

    General Manager Reg Rudolph noted that the majority of power consumers polled were in favor of using ‘green’ electricity- until they were asked if they were willing to pay more for it.  Enthusiasm quickly dropped down to 15 percent saying they would pay a little more for energy produced from alternative sources.  Currently only 45 members are paying more to be in the green power program.

    Rudolph also noted that SIEA has purchased five anemometers to use researching wind quality in its territory to determine the viability of wind generation in targeted areas they cover.