Monday, November 5, 2018

OPPD Board: who to vote for

In December of 2015 the OPPD Board of Directors voted 6-2 to triple service fees on residential and small business customers. The 2015, $10.25-per-month fee increased to $15 in 2016, $20 in 2017, $25 in 2018 and will rise again, to $30, in 2019. This hits apartment dwellers, energy conservers and the poor hardest, according to the World-Herald:
But the restructuring plan has drawn sharp criticism because it penalizes low-use customers: apartment-dwellers; customers who generate their own power; people who conserve energy; and poor people. Six in 10 low-income customers would pay more under the new rate structure, according to OPPD estimates.
SUBDIVISION 1 (West/NW Omaha): Amanda Bogner vs. Kristine Dungan

Neither is an incumbent, so neither voted for the recent fee increase. Sierra Club Nebraska endorsed Amanda Bogner for her support of renewable energy. That's good enough for us. Vote for Bogner.

SUBDIVISION 6 (NE Omaha): Tom Barrett vs. Eric Williams

Two Democrats here. Barrett voted against the service fee increases and is not a bad choice. But of all the candidates, Eric Williams has the most bona fides in support of renewable energy. An engineer, he is the president of Nebraskans for Solar, past president of Earth Day Omaha, past chair of Dundee Community Garden, and past vice president of Green Omaha Coalition. We recommend Williams.

SUBDIVISION 7 (W. Douglas, Washington Co., and parts of 5 other counties around Omaha): Mick Mines vs. Janece Mollhoff

Mines, the incumbent, didn't bother to answer questions in the League of Women Voters, Voters Guide. He also voted to triple user fees. Here's how Janece Mollhoff answered the Voters Guide question about renewable energy:

Right now OPPD does not have a long-term strategic goal for energy production. The first step is to determine not just a short term goal (2020), but also to set a long term goal (2040 to 2050) and strategy to meet that goal. Increasing use of renewable energy has to be done in tandem with energy efficiency, peak load reduction and other measures that keep our bills low, provide reliable energy and create good-paying jobs in our communities
Vote for Mollhoff, who also is endorsed by the Sierra Club.

SUBDIVISION 8 (SW Omaha): Mike Cavanaugh vs. Linda Duckworth

Two Republicans here. Cavanaugh, the incumbent, voted to triple your service fees. His challenger, Linda Duckworth, impressed the Sierra Club with her approach to renewable energy more than did Cavanaugh and got their endorsement, so she gets ours too. Vote for Duckworth.

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