Association members file against Tri-State Generation and Transmission

Denver, September 29, 2009 — Five members of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc. filed a lawsuit in United States District Court against the electric generation and transmission co-op alleging that the power supplier overcharges and engages in unfair and monopolistic practices.

The plaintiffs allege Tri-State is charging rates to co-op members nearly double what it costs Tri-State to actually acquire and transmit the power to them. Tri-State is a power co-op founded in 1952 by 29 original members, of which five are plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Tri-State has 44 members in Nebraska, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.

While residents who live in the larger metro areas of each of those states — such as Omaha, Denver, Albuquerque or Cheyenne — are not served by the Tri-State, a large number of residents throughout the remaining portions of those states do receive their power from co-op members.

The plaintiffs include: Chimney Rock Public Power District, Midwest Electric Cooperative Corporation, Northwest Rural Public Power District, Panhandle Rural Electric Membership Association and Roosevelt Public Power District.

According to the complaint, “Tri-State’s notions of democratic governance and direct accountability…have become an illusion for Plaintiffs. More importantly, they have become an illusion for Plaintiffs’ member-consumers and the rural communities in which they live, which depend on a reasonably priced supply of power to remain economically viable. Plaintiffs, being five in number, elect only five members of the 44-member Tri-State Board, and Plaintiffs’ many attempts to bring this problem to the Board’s attention have each been rejected.”

The lawsuit states eight different claims for relief and demands a jury
trial in North Platte, Nebraska.

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