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A shift in power

Aspen, CO Colorado

Whether you agree or disagree with green politics, it’s a good sign that customers of Holy Cross Energy took interest in its recent board elections.

On Wednesday the power supplier announced the election results: Incumbent board president Tom Turnbull, a Carbondale cattle rancher who’s sat on the board for more than 30 years, was re-elected with 1,847 votes to opponent Marshall Foote’s 1,284.

In the other race, challenger Adam Palmer unseated incumbent George Lamb by a vote of 1,643 to 1,613. Incumbent Hal Clark ran unchallenged.

If anything, this race symbolized what is happening in board elections for energy companies across the state. Turnbull and Lamb were regarded as the old guard on the Holy Cross board, while Foote and Palmer ran on a platform that placed an emphasis on renewable energy and green initiatives.

Turnbull and Lamb argued that while green initiatives are good, they also must make financial sense for Holy Cross and its members.

Make no mistake, sitting on the board of Holy Cross is hardly a sexy job. The tasks at hand can be mundane, the volunteer work rarely acknowledged.

But the state of Colorado also is on the front-line of renewable energy, as evidenced by President Obama’s signing of the $787 economic stimulus package last February in Denver. Some of that money is intended to go toward tax credits and renewable energy projects around the country.

As energy enters a new area, some of the grittiest work and most important decisions are happening in the board rooms of power companies. It’s good to see local ratepayers take a voting interest in a service that many of us take for granted.

The composition of our electrical company boards should reflect a shift in the mindset about how to provide power to, in this case, the 43,000 customers of Holy Cross.


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