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Power Lines Official Publication of Powder River Energy Corporation

2006 Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp Applications Available This summer, Powder River Energy will again sponsor area high school students to the Colorado Electric Education Institute’s Energy Camp, July 16-21, 2006. This weeklong event will be held at the Glen Eden Resort, located just outside of beautiful Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Participants will make hundreds of new friends from other high schools in Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming. Colorado high country is a great place to play. A gondola ride up Mt. Werner, a side trip to Fish Creek Falls, and a variety of attractions in Steamboat Springs are all part of the festivities. There are also great cabins, pools, barbecues, and dances. Other trip highlights include a live raptor presentation and an insider’s tour of Youth Camp continued on back page >>>

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Rental/Owner Program As an additional service to our members, Powder River Energy (PRECorp) offers a rental/owner program. This program was first introduced in 1990 and many of our rental property owners have taken advantage of the program. PRECorp can appreciate how time consuming it can be for our members to manage multiple properties. If you are such a person, we would like to help you by eliminating unnecessary time and paperwork regarding the associated electric service when a renter moves. By signing a special agreement with PRECorp, a rental property owner can have any of their rental properties automatically transferred back into their name when a renter moves out. In this way, the owner is assured that their rental properties will be protected from freezing up during the cold winter months when a renter leaves and requests the service to be disconnected. If you are interested in taking advantage of this program, please call 1-800-442-3630. One of our Customer Service Representatives will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have and send you the necessary paperwork to sign up.

PRECorp Avian Protection & Power Lines Public Forum March 31, 2006 – 9:30 am Gillette Office – Board Room – 200 S. Garner Lake Road Lunch will be served Agenda ♦ PRECorp’s Avian Protection Plan (APP) ♦ APP implementation – Rick Harness & others from EDM International ♦ Power Line Design for Raptor Safety ♦ Effective retrofitting of existing pre-raptor safe power lines ♦ Laws and responsibilities: reporting, disposal & salvage ♦ Raptor nest identification and laws pertaining to nests & more – Gwyn McKee – Thunderbird Wildlife Consulting ♦ NE Wyoming Bird Rescue & Rehab – Diane Morse ♦ Powder River Basin CBM Development Plan - Brad Rogers (USF&WS) Early afternoon adjournment Contacts: Ed Mignery or Tracy Jones @ PRECorp 800-442-3630 R.S.V.P. is desired but not required.

March, 2006



This month I wanted to spend our time together discussing the true power of cooperatives and how that power has sustained us through our history. The power I am talking about is not coal power, wind power, nuclear power or anything like that. The power I am speaking about is the “power of the people” or what politicians would say is “grassroots” power. In the 1940’s when electric cooperatives were first formed it was the power of the people and their “can do” attitude that electrified rural America. Electric cooperatives were the underdog from day one in comparison to the established and powerful investor owned utilities of the time. The odds were definitely stacked against our early founders and if it were not for the power of the people our cause would not have been the successful program it is today. Time and time again you, the people, have rallied to support the electric cooperative program, its efforts, it values, and the vital spirit of rural America. As electric cooperatives we have banded together across the country to exercise our power of the people by providing grass roots support to move difficult and seemingly insurmountable political issues away from threats to rural America towards opportunities for rural America. Today, electric cooperatives on a national basis are working together to deal with a major threat to rural America. That threat is the captive shipper issue. A captive shipping customer is those who, by virtue of physical location, have access to only a single rail provider. Captive shippers of coal and other key commodities pay rail rates CEO continued on back page >>>

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an electric generating plant in Colorado, and the Trapper Coal Mine. Students that attend the camp not only participate in fun activities and great resume building; they 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 2007. Powder River Energy funds the 2006 Leadership Camp in Colorado by providing each participant’s transportation, room and board, and sightseeing events. To apply, students must be in high school and have a parent(s), grandparent(s), or guardian that is a member. The application deadline is March 15, 2006. For information and applications: visit or call Kristin Kelly, Communications Specialist, 1800-442-3630 ext. 2362, email The education of our youth is just one of the ways your cooperative, Powder River Energy, a Touchstone Electric Cooperative, reaches out to members. Last year’s Youth Leadership Camp attendees were: Tara Lindblom – Gillette (WREA DC Tour Winner); Heather Olson – Hulett (PRECorp DC Tour Winner); Miles Buckingham – Kaycee; Nick Kerkvliet – Sundance; Heather Ross – Sheridan; Kelsi Webb - Newcastle.

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

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of up to 450 percent above railroad costs, as opposed to the 6 percent paid by shippers where railroad competition exists. You may ask, “How does the captive shipping issue affect me as an electric bill payer?” As I have mentioned in past articles Powder River Energy purchases the electricity it sells to you from Basin Electric Power Cooperative. That electricity is generated at the Laramie River Station near Wheatland, Wyoming. The Laramie River Station is served by one railroad, which transports 8.3 million tons of coal annually from the Powder River Basin to Wheatland, 175 miles away. The power plant’s contract with the railroad expired last year and the railroad renewed the contract with exorbitantly higher rates for the same service. At four times the railroad’s average coal hauling rates, these new fees will cost electric power customers $1 billion over the next 20 years. The higher costs for hauling coal will be passed on by Basin to Powder River Energy and its other member cooperatives. These electric cooperatives will have no choice but to pass this higher expense on to its member-customers – you! I mentioned earlier that other key commodities are affected by the high rail rates being charged to captive shippers. For example, the costs of shipping agricultural products to market on noncompetitive routes are raising the cost of food. It is costing as much as 230 percent more to ship captive farm products versus non-captive farm products. The chemical and wood products industries are also experiencing similar excessive captive shipping rates. Powder River Energy is becoming more involved in this issue and will be participating in efforts to move what once again appears to an insurmountable political issue from a threat to rural America to an opportunity for rural America. I would like to invite you to be a part of our efforts in dealing with the captive shipper issue and I would encourage you to lend your grassroots support to our efforts. As cooperatives we have a unique opportunity to flex our grassroots muscle by empowering our membership in the political process through direct contact with their congressional delegation as well as joining the electric cooperative’s member political action committee – Action Committee for Rural Electrification®, or ACRE® as it is commonly known. If you would like more information on the captive shipper issue or how to exercise your grassroots muscle please let me know and I will send you a packet of information explaining the issue in more detail as well as explaining what you can do to make a difference. You may drop me note in your bill, give me a call, visit our website at, or stop by any of our business offices to pick up a packet of information on this topic. We are the people, and we have the power!

On The Web—Energy Saving Tips U. S. Department of Energy: Energy Star:

Power Facts “The average co-op residential consumer-member uses about 1,128 kWh (kilowatt-hours) per month, while municipal customers average 922 kWh per month. Investor-owned utility residential customers average about 826 kWh per month. A primary reason for the higher co-op electricity usage levels is because they represent a larger portion of the agriculture sector of the economy, which tends to consume more electricity for such needs as drying grain and operating dairies and other farm facilities.” ~ Facts from a NRECA Statistical Analysis Unit report published in the Jan. 6, 2006, issue of Electric Co-op Today.


BY M IKE E ASLEY , CEO PRECorp Avian Protection & Power Lines Public Forum March, 2006OfficialPublicationofPowderRiverEnergyCorporation...