Joffer meets with Noem

By Sarah Ebeling, Editor, The New Era; reprinted with permission

Note: Mark Joffer serves as Chairman of Heartland’s Board of Directors, representing Bon Homme, Douglas, Hanson, Hutchinson, McCook & Turner Counties. He was elected to the Mid-West board in December of 2017.

 

Recently, Mark Joffer of Parker was in Washington, DC with the Mid-West Electric Consumers Association. While there, Joffer and others had a chance to sit down with Kristi Noem to discuss a number of issues, including the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program and various other energy provisions.

Joffer explained that communities like Parker that own their electric utility get some of their power from federally owned dams along the Missouri River and other rivers in the Western-Midwest part of the US.

Mark Joffer

“This power is sold to communities like Parker through an agency called Western Area Power Administration (WAPA). These dams are operated by the Corp of Engineers and some are managed by the Federal Bureau of Reclamation.”

Mid-West’s board works closely with all of these different groups and works to protect the interests of Parker and other communities.

Joffer said they used their time with Noem, as well as staffers from John Thune and Mike Rounds’ office to keep them informed about the activities of Mid-West as well as the funding needs and operation of the Missiouri River dams.

“One pressing issue this year is a proposal by the Trump administration to sell off federal power assets like the dams on the Missouri River. The administration sees this sale as a quick way to get a one time infusion of cash into the federal treasury. As representatives of municipal power communities like Parker, Mid-West strongly opposes this sale of federal power assets. If this sale were to occur, it would usher in significant electric rate increases to communities like Parker. During our visit with our Congressional delegations, we were assured that they each are opposed to the administration’s proposal to sell federal power assets,” said Joffer.

 

Pictured from left to right: Chris Studer of East River Electric, Joffer, Rep. Kristi Noem, Tom Boyko of East River Electric, Vic Simmons of Rushmore Electric Coop, and Steve Lehner of Watertown Municipal Utilities. (Submitted)