See, this is the stuff that drives me crazy.

The Tribune had another coal plant piece today, this one focused on Electric City Power's now you see 'em, now you don't plans to sell power to residential customers. In the article, Rich Ecke quotes City Manager John Lawton as follows:

"All we're saying is let's think about this," City Manager John Lawton said. "We would like to be able to offer them (residential customers) an alternative."
And that's it. No follow up. No challenge. This issue came up in yesterday's piece too:

Does the city intend to force people in Great Falls to buy power from the coal plant?

"We are not authorized by statute to force citizens to buy from us," said Balzarini. But she said the city would like to be able to offer electricity to residents. State legislation was tabled this legislative session that would have allowed Great Falls to sell to residents, subject to several conditions, including that the power would be cheaper than that offered by the state's largest utility.

Offer it to them. Allowed to sell to residents. An alternative. Why do they hide their intentions with words? Mr. Lawton, Ms. Balzarini: It's ok! Tell us what you want to do. We can handle it.

When people obfuscate, it only serves to make the listener suspicious.

What does "must receive the customer's electricity supply from the local government supply entity" mean to you? (See Section 12(3)(c)(i)). It sure doesn't sound like offer or allow to me.

Look, I certainly don't have an inflated sense of worth of the Electric City Weblog. My readership isn't 1% of the Tribune's. But I know folks at the Tribune read this blog (in fact, their readership is picking up; I counted at least 5 separate log-ons yesterday alone). You don't have to cite to me, but holy smokes, I've done the work for you. The source documents are linked. If you're going to ask the City staff about their legislative efforts, don't you at least go and read the bills?


Anonymous said...

A first grader with a modestly inquisitive nature would have done a better job reporting on this than the Tribune has done. The questions raised in this blog should have been raised months ago by the Tribune. I for one don't understand why the Tribune is so unwilling to ask the questions about an issue of this magnitude where so much is at stake to the entire community. Great Falls deserves better. Has anyone at the Trib even made an effort to read Kottel's bill which would make GF citizens captive ratepayers to the City? This week's articles on the coal plant only confirm that the Tribune is for some unknown reason content just to be a mouthpiece for the City. IS this is the stuff Pulitzer prizing winning newspapers are made of? Your significance as a newspaper now seems to be limited to announcing weddings, garage sales, and Superbowl highlights- way to go.

Big Sky Husker said...

Exactly right. The Trib has done a pathetic job investigating the details of the coal plant. You want to know where the Trib stands on the coal plant? Go read SME's latest press release.

The Trib should go back to reporting how well the city ran the Lewis and Clark fiasco. That's about how relevant they are to the coal plant story anymore.