I learned of this pending litigation (Dakota Energy lawsuit) through East River co-ops postings in the Huron Daily Plainsman's "Payday." I personally am not a member of Dakota Energy, so whatever the outcome of this lawsuit is, it will have no direct impact on me personally.

I felt compelled to write this letter because I believe that if Dakota Energy's management team and board of directors are successful in this endeavor, the impact it will have on you, the members and owners, will be devastating.

I personally have spent my entire career in the electric utility industry, 3 years with Northwestern Energy and 34 years with Western Area Power Administration. Due to the limitations of this forum, I will just cut to the chase.

Guzman Energy is a 10-year-old "for profit" energy broker with virtually no infrastructure. Kit Carson Electric Co-op located in Taos, N.M., was one of the first co-ops to buy out of their long-term power contract with their former supplier, Tri State Generation and Transmission.

Guzman promised KCEC they would save them between $50 million and $70 million in wholesale energy costs over the next 10 years. In reality, over the 4 years following the buyout (2016-2019), Kit Carson's wholesale power costs went up 47.8% and their retail rates went up 22.5% over the same time period.

Do you want your energy bill to go up on average 5.625% annually or more?

In my opinion, switching to a "for profit" energy broker with virtually no infrastructure would be like hiring a carpenter that didn't have any of his own tools to build your house.

Additionally, putting all your eggs in one basket is not a good plan, and strength comes in numbers and staying the course with your co-op team is going to be in you, the members' best interest, now and for years to come.

Douglas Hart

Huron, March 15