Stillwater News

Editorial: Protect Public Power in Stillwater

Released:Feb 27, 2017

EDITORIAL

Stillwater is a public power community. This is important. It means our residents own the municipal electric system, so we are able to keep net revenues generated from power sales here at home where they can do the most good. This means we generate about $12 to 13 million each year to help to fund essential services like police, fire, streets, library, parks and more.

Since 1987, Stillwater has purchased low-cost, wholesale electricity from Grand River Dam Authority. This long-term partnership is what keeps Stillwater’s electric rates in the lowest 20 percentile nationwide while also providing the supplemental revenues mentioned above.

This is why the City of Stillwater and the Stillwater City Council oppose House Bill 1852 that would allow for a sale of GRDA.

Every day we experience the benefits of public power. It would be devastating to Stillwater and Oklahoma’s other 14 public-power communities that purchase wholesale electricity directly from GRDA to lose this successful partnership.   

GRDA is a nonprofit, cost-of-service public power utility that benefits Oklahoma the following ways:

  •  Bringing low-cost power to cities, towns, electric cooperatives, businesses, schools and individual citizens across the state;

  •  Contributing over $400 million dollars annually to Oklahoma’s economy through effective management of Oklahoma’s premier lake and water system;

  •  Able to attract new businesses to Oklahoma through innovative and effective electric resource options and costs; and,

  •  Directly and indirectly employs 7,000 Oklahomans;

And it should be left alone.

Stillwater’s relationships with GRDA began in 1987 and our current contract lasts until 2042. This longstanding, beneficial partnership has positive impacts on our community every day. We need to make sure it stays in place, because our community's financial well­ being is closely tied to our successful public power tradition.

Call your legislators and let them know you support public power and the benefits GRDA bring to Stillwater and Oklahoma.

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