KCEC eats its own

By: Bill Whaley
17 December, 2016

VirgilOff the Record: Virgil’s Trial by his Peers

On the Q.T. Illegal Solar Gardens

Very Hush Hush: KCEC Electric bill

Each time you read your electric bill think: Virgil, Luis, Guzman, Diversification, and Solar Dreams.

News reports claim the “The Battling Trustees” are being charged with assault, battery, and public affray in the Chris “No Mas insults” beat-down of Virgil “No Stinkin Rate Increases.” Sharp-eyed Attorney Alan Maestas is looking for a jury of Virgil’s peers to render a verdict on the fracas. The twenty-year younger man Duran on tape pounded the supine senior citizen Martinez into the hard floor. But the community owes Virgil a “thank-you” for voting “no.”Chris may be the man who quashed Virgil but “Rocky of Cerro” keeps on coming back. Try to find a jury!

Off the Record: A Teaser for the 12 Days of Christmas

Commercial customers, i.e. Taos businesses have already been hit two-fold: 1) by the rise in kilowatt cost; and 2) the extraordinary rise in the “fuel adjustment” cost, due to Guzman power purchases on the open market. KCEC cajoled the Guzman Florida financiers into paying Tri-State, the Coop’s own generator and transmitter of homegrown electricity, some $37 million for “nothing” plus an unknown monthly fee for maintenance of transmission lines. Now the Coop-Guzman cabal competes on the open market for electricity. (KCEC still owes $5 million for the Plains-Tri-State merger of 2000.)

So KCEC members and customers are watching their bills skyrocket like the tempers of the trustees or the high salary and benefits of the CEO. Reyes makes 10 times what the above average trustee takes home in meeting and travel fees.

We urge KCEC business and residential customers to compare their recent Nov. and Dec. bills of 2016 with a similar period in 2015. Visit the KCEC web site here for a graphic explanation of your power bill from KCEC. Copy and paste: http://kitcarson.coopwebbuilder2.com/sites/kitcarsonkitcarson/files/PDF/bill_explanation_by_s_0.pdf

 

After you’ve done your homework, my fellow felines, tomorrow, someday, and for the twelve days of Christmas we will discuss how KCEC short-circuited last summer’s 2016 rate hearing. No governmental or commercial protesters-interveners showed up to help residential protesters and interveners, who represented themselves “pro se” against the forces of darkness: KCEC spent an estimated  $500,000 for cut-throat sharks as counselors at the PRC  summer camp hearings.

While forbidding interveners to speak prior to the vote, and after voting yes for the commercial rate increase, PRC Commissioner Valerie Espinosa helped KCEC screw the pooch last summer. She was in a hurry to celebrate her birthday that day, according to interveners.

In a classic movida at the Dec. ’16 PRC residential rate hearing, Espinosa voted for raising KCEC’s tier or RUS benchmark so the coop could borrow more money for its diversification non-electric interests, despite Commissioner Pat Lyons’ dire warnings. Though Commissioners Lovejoy and Lyons voted for a lower tier of 1.5 Espinosa and the majority voted for 1.64 so the Coop could ride off into a sunset of borrow and pay interest only loans.

Then, when the vote on the whole Dec. package came up, Espinosa and Lovejoy, switched positions so Espinosa could vote no and “pretend” she was against the rate increase. Later she visited Taos Living Treasures with “bad faith” and “good conscience” worn on her sleeve.

Your Town Mayor sat by in Dec. of 2015, a year ago, just like your County Commissioners and watched like Pontius Pilate. Oh yes, the Mayor, Town Council and County Commissioners, like the ancient Esau, sold their birthright to Jacob/Luis for a “mess of pottage.” Now Taos businesses and Taos County taxpayers are paying through the nose for the bright lights and the big city dreams of the Bellis-Barrone team, just as taxpayers are supporting the passive Blankenhorn-Fambro-Gallegos cabal at the County.Meanwhile  Luis ran away with the public purse.

When you see the Town’s Barrone, Hahn, Bellis, Cantu, the County’s Blankenhorn, Fambro, Gallegos, Romero, O’Donnell, and the Coop’s Reyes, Ortega, Duran, Martinez, Mylet, Medina, Jassman, Norris, Bresnahan, Mascarenas, Rodarte, Torres (especially David Torres of Seco) ask all of them: “Why did you raise my electric bill and what are you and they doing with the money?”

And now the County wants to raise your taxes again. Wait until you get your January electric bill. Oh, yes, just you wait.

On the Q.T. The Lucky Old Sun!

There’s a special place in the hearts of hell for KCEC Trustee “Anglo Bob Bresnahan,” of “Green Goddess” and “Solar Heaven” fame. The Bob praises Coop policies and CEO Reyes’ “tax and spend” policies. He “believes” in local custom i.e. “El Mitote.” According to public testimony and bold assertions excerpted from emails, Pobrecito Bob never took a “critical thinking” course in his life. He just believes in that lucky old sun that rolls round heaven all day.

But here’s what the restrained and conservative PRC staff economist Mr. John Reynolds was asked in testimony for PRC hearings on KCEC rate increases last summer and here’s what he recommends re: “harnessing” that lucky old sun.

“Does KCEC’s Community Solar Garden place any farther burden on the electric utility?

Reynolds answered:

“By allowing itself to interconnect with the Solar Garden and crediting member
owners for their respective share of the Solar Garden’s energy generation, KCEC has set itself up as the delivering and billing entity for the Solar Garden, developed by a private entity.

“In doing so, KCEC is providing a service for the benefit of that subset of KCEC members who have purchased panels from KCEC, but at the detriment of the remaining members who are uncompensated for the delivering and billing services provided by the electric utility to the CEC participants.”

“What is Staff’s recommendation with respect to KCEC’s Community Solar Garden?”

Reynolds recommendation:

“Staff recommends that the Commission launch an inquiry into the status of KCEC’s Community Solar Garden in order to establish its legitimacy.”

The Sun is a free source of energy but the Coop, like Bob, can’t get it right without screwing the members at large. Like the Broadband project, which is failing despite KCEC’s having spent an estimated $70 million in grants, loans, and members’ money to hook up 2600 customers mas y menos, so those community solar arrays built around the county are as “out of compliance” as the decaying motels in the Town of Taos or maybe as illegal as the trade in street pharmaceuticals overseen by legendary Ivan Romero (according to the newspapers).

This is not your Father’s Coop. Today your community leaders in the Town and County, like the residential and commercial members of the Coop, serve the “Traveling Trustees” who ultimately serve the moribund vision of the energizer bunny in the CEO’s seat.

Like Trump the Tweety Bird, Reyes brays like a donkey. Read your electric bill: the proof is in the charges and over charges and fuel adjustment cost. Merry Christmas from your Coop. 

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