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Power Lines Official Publication of Powder River Energy Corporation

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This summer Powder River Energy will sponsor area high school students to the Colorado Electric Education Institute’s 2004 Leadership Camp. This weeklong event will be held at the Glen Eden Resort, located near beautiful Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Participants will make hundreds of new friends from other high schools in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and this year – even Hawaii. It’s a great opportunity for students to develop their leadership skills and see more of the than just the confines of their hometowns. Many students have gone on to receive scholarships, speaking engagements, and national recognition. The students that attend vary from athletes and academics to FFA participants – basically, it’s a widely diverse group. We even encourage students to apply with a friend. Highlights include a hike on Mt. Werner at the Steamboat Ski Resort, a swim in Fish Creek Falls, and a variety of attractions in Steamboat Springs. Of course there are the great cabins, the hot spring pool, barbecues, and dances. Students that attend the camp not only participate in fun activities and great resume building, the learn leadership skills important to future employers and college entrance committees. As an added bonus, energy camp attendees qualify for the chance to attend the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Tour to Washington DC in 2005. Powder River Energy funds the 2004 Leadership Camp in Colorado by providing each participant’s transportation, room and board, and sightseeing events. To apply, high school students must be between their sophomore and junior years during the summer of 2003, and their parent(s), grandparent(s), or legal guardian(s) must be a member of Powder River Energy. . The deadline for applications is Thursday, April 1, 2004. Applications are available on the web at or call Kristin Kelly, Communications Specialist, 1-800-442-3630, ext. 2362 for further information and an application, or email The education of our youth – just one of the ways your electric cooperative, Powder River Energy, a Touchstone Energy® cooperative, reaches out to members.

March, 2004



The upcoming months will be increasingly busy for the Powder River Energy team. In addition to all of the new residential construction, we are also involved with several new substations or major rebuilds of existing substations. You might be surprised to find out that all of the new growth in our service territory is not just related to coal bed methane development. For example, the Hulett substation in Crook County is currently being rebuilt to increase its capacity as well as to bring it up to current standards. I have mentioned before that Powder River Energy is able to take advantage of the benefits of system growth to improve some of the older areas of our electric system. It is important that we continue to look for opportunity in all of the challenges we face. It is only by facing those challenges, squarely and solidly, that one finds the path to opportunity. I spend a lot of my time anticipating challenges and working together with your board of directors and the Powder River Energy team to find our way through some very complicated issues. This is how we manage the risks, create opportunity, and then move forward to get things done. Continued on back page >>>

>>> CEO Straight Talk Continued from front page

At the end of March Powder River Energy’s leadership team (senior staff) and the Powder River Energy board will be spending two days in a focused effort working on our strategic planning process. Our last strategic action plan was developed in 2003 and it will serve as the foundation for this meeting. We will also be assessing the current circumstances facing your electric cooperative from local, state, and national perspectives. It is really quite interesting how Powder River Energy’s issues at home are reflective of the issues we are facing in the bigger picture. The world continues to change, and we all feel this, even in northeast Wyoming. There are many challenges before us. Coal bed methane development, a very volatile natural gas market, increasing difficulties in right of way and easement acquisition, impacts on Wyoming of the national energy policy, a growing national budget deficit, are but a few of the things on our horizon. Keeping up with these challenges and making the needed adjustments in our course of action are fundamental reasons to spend some time thinking strategically. Fortunately we don’t have to start this process from ground zero, nor do we enter it without clear goals, guidelines, and a true sense of duty. In addition, we have the entire Powder River Energy team on our side. It is a great place to be. You might have some insight or perspective on these or the other issues that are out there. Please do not be shy if there is something you think should be on our radar screen. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. I look forward to our next month’s dialogue and to bringing you some more details on Powder River Energy’s strategic planning efforts. Mission statement: “Powder River Energy Corporation, an electric cooperative, will deliver high quality, low cost electricity to its memberowners while embracing its cooperative principles and values.”

Powder River Energy’s Guiding Principles: ♦ Keeping Members First ♦ Affordable and Competitive Services ♦ Enhanced Quality of Life for Members ♦ Support and Develop PRECorp Team

Power Lines A publication of Powder River Energy Corp. P. O. Box 930 Sundance, WY 82729 As an official publication of Powder River Energy Corporation, the purpose of Power Lines is to communicate to member/customers information concerning their electric cooperative, and to offer suggestions and ideas regarding the safe, efficient, and economical use of electric energy. Back issues of the Power Lines can be found on Powder River Energy’s website at: Power Lines Editor: Mike Blenkush


Is Your Home Wired For Safety?

Is your home’s electrical system up to code? Do you know? How can you find out? For the past 10 years, faulty electrical wiring systems have been the leading cause of fire deaths involving electrical equipment, claiming an average of nearly 400 lives each year. These deaths and fires cost society $2.2 billion annually. Warning signs of an unsafe electrical system: 1. Dimming lights, a toaster doesn’t toast, a television picture that shrinks or an iron that doesn’t heat can signal loose connections or an overloaded circuit. 2. Tripping circuit breakers could indicate an overloaded or short circuit. 3. Smoke or a smell of burning metal or plastic could be caused by a wrong-size bulb or overheated wiring. 4. Hot or heat discolored receptacles, switch plates, cords or plugs could signal a loose connection. 5. Loose plugs can be a shock or fire hazard. Plugs should fit snugly in outlets. Never overload outlets or rely on extension cords for long-term use. Either can be a fire hazard if too much heat is generated due to an overloaded state. Extension cords are not a permanent fix for the problem of too few outlets. If you see any of these things happening around your house, contact a qualified, licensed electrician immediately to diagnose and repair the problem. Source: U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (


A PPLICATIONS A VAILABLE FOR P OWDER R IVER E NERGY Y OUTH BY M IKE E ASLEY , CEO March, 2004OfficialPublicationofPowderRiverEnergyCorporati...