Today’s energy talk to feature Durango Mayor Richard White

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    By Karen Goodwin
    Special to The PREVIEW
    Durango Mayor Richard White will be in Pagosa Springs this Thursday, Sept. 28, to talk about how our local community can move toward a 100 percent renewable energy future.
    His presentation will take place 5:30 p.m. at the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association Clubhouse on Port Avenue off Vista Boulevard. White is an expert on renewable energy.
    La Plata Electric Association (LPEA) provides power to La Plata and Archuleta counties. LPEA is one of 43 rural electric distribution co-ops that purchase electricity from the Tri-State generating plant in Nebraska. Two-thirds of the electricity produced by Tri-State comes from burning coal, the most polluting form of energy and a major contributor of greenhouse gases.
    Coal is now one of the most expensive sources of electricity, while solar is one of the cheapest. Between 2003 and 2014, Tri-State’s price to sell electricity to LPEA and its other rural co-ops rose 70 percent, while the U.S. consumer price index rose only 29 percent. Unfortunately, LPEA is contracted to purchase 95 percent of its electricity from Tri-State until 2050.
    Two rural electric co-ops that were locked into similar long-term contracts with Tri-State have succeeded in breaking free from Tri-State and are expanding their use of solar power. In the process, they are creating good local jobs.
    White’s talk is hosted by Southwest Organization for Sustainability and Pagosa 100%. The event is free and open to the public.