A COLORADO COOPERATIVE REMAINS SPLIT FROM THE NRECA and its general manager says a draft resolution against "federally mandated retail wheeling at this time" won't win it back. Stan R. Lewandowski Jr., Intermountain Rural Association's general manager, says the resolution, which will be considered at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association annual meeting in March, would still make the association sound wishy-washy (see Public Utilities Fortnightly, Nov. 1, 1997, p. 50).
"I equate it [like this]: You stand on the left foot and say I'm opposed to retail wheeling and then you lean on the right foot and say 'at this time,'" Lewandowski said. He is opposed to a federal mandate and believes states ought to decide their fate.
Glenn English, NRECA CEO, made it clear that the working resolution comes from association membership.
The resolution came out of NRECA's fall regional meetings. Seven meetings were held for the group's 10 regions. Region VIII (em Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana (em passed the resolution after deleting "at this time."
The resolution would go before standing committees at the association's annual meeting, then to the Resolutions Committee, then before the full membership for a vote.
"I get my directions from the membership," English said. "Obviously if Stan wanted to tinker with the resolutions, he needs to be a member. It's that simple.
"That would be my advice to him: If he doesn't like it, why he'd better get back in the membership in time to meet with the Resolutions Committee."
Lewandowski also is miffed about the agenda for the annual director's meeting in January. About 10 of the 17 educational offerings are based on wheeling.
English responded: "Well, we've got states, of course, that have changed their laws and that seems to be a hot topic of conversation among many of our members. So we respond to our membership.
Lewandowski, meanwhile, continues to circulate his "Electric Utility Deregulation Survival Kits," provided by his co-op, he said, as a public service. Inside a small box is a candle and a pack of matches.
One kit arrived on English's desk. "I appreciated that," the CEO said. "I thought that was humorous¼ and given some of the questions about reliability, he may have a very good point. All Americans may need to have one."
Joseph F. Schuler Jr. is senior associate editor with Public Utilities Fortnightly.
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