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Ener Com

Fall Quarter 2011

A Publication of Western Farmers Electric Cooperative


Ener Com

Fall Quarter, 2011

Volume XIV, No. 3

Western Farmers Electric Cooperative P. O. Box 429 Anadarko, OK 73005 (405) 247-3351

Cover: The summer of 2011 will be rememebered by most as a hot and devastating time. Temperature and drought records were broke during the year across many states, with Oklahoma marking its hottest summer on record. (Source: iStockphoto)

Gary R. Roulet.....................................Chief Executive Officer Brian Hobbs..................................VP, Legal & Corporate Svc. Mark Faulkenberry...........................Manager, Mktg. & Comm. Sondra Boykin, CCC.......................................................Editor Mark Daugherty, CCC..............................Writer, Photographer Maria Crowder.........................................Writer, Photographer

Kansas Alfalfa




Cimarron Kiwash

East Central Oklahoma


New Mexico



Canadian Valley

Harmon Southwest Rural




Kiamichi People’s

Cotton Red River Valley Rural



Roosevelt County

Central Valley


Lea County

Western Farmers Electric Cooperative Service Territory

Scorching Summer Sun Leaves Devastating Mark


Story & Photo by Sondra Boykin

easonal records were broken, new peaks were set and drought was imminent during a long and scorching summer that will go down in history for its unmerciful impact. At one time, it seemed no end was in sight for the consecutive triple-digit degree days. The blistering heat experienced from June through August of 2011 marks the warmest summer on record in Oklahoma. And, this unrelenting heat, combined with below-average precipitation across the southern U.S., has also brought about record-breaking drought across the region, according to scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, N.C. Overall, century mark temperatures were exceeded much earlier than normal across the southern region of the country and this trend never let up until September when the effects had been felt across the area. Daily temperatures ranged between 100 and 115 degrees across much of the southern territory, including Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. For Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC) and its member cooperatives it was a challenging summer as outdoor crews faced extreme temperatures on a daily basis. Wildfires also swept across the service territories of several cooperatives as dry conditions prevailed. New WFEC Peak Set WFEC set a new all-time peak record on Aug. 3 at 3 p.m. The new peak of 1,582 megawatts (MW) surpassed a record set earlier in the year of 1,499 MW, which was actually set during the winter months on Feb. 10. WFEC Statistics In June 2011, temperatures were 39.3 percent warmer than normal, with WFEC’s sales of 743,535 megawatt-hours (MWh). The total sales were significantly above the 2011 budgeted numbers of 640,672 MWh. In June 2010, sales were 677,592 MWh. The high temperature in Anadarko during this past June was 104 degrees on June 17, with only .4 of an inch of rainfall received for the month. July 2011 was 31 percent warmer than normal for WFEC’s members with sales of 857,745 MWh. This total is significantly above the 2011 budgeted numbers of 734,381 MWh. Sales for the same timeframe in 2010 were 711,017 MWh. (Continued on Page 4) 3


Scorching Sun

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The high temperature for July in Anadarko was 107 degrees on July 9. Rainfall was a mere .02 of an inch for the month. There were 25 days above 100 degrees, with a minimum high temperature of 98 degrees. The average overall temperature was 89.5 degrees for the company’s headquarter’s location. Rounding out the summer, August 2011 was 39 percent warmer than normal, with sales of 828,470 MWh, considerably above the 2011 budgeted numbers of 701,410 MWh. With temperatures 16 percent hotter in 2010, sales were 765,750 MWh. Anadarko’s high temperature for August was 108 degrees on the 5th and 28th days of the month. Rainfall was finally received in some areas, with 2.21 inches reported locally in Anadarko. There were 25 days above 100 degrees, while the minimum high temperature was 87 degrees, with an average temperature of 89.1 degrees. A total of 16 Peak Days were called during this year’s peak season that ran from June 20 to Sept. 9, excluding July 4, Sept. 5 and all Sundays). Also, official notification was sent out on four occasions asking for curtailable rate tariff customers to curtail their loads. The majority of these were on Sundays. SPP Sets New Peak However, WFEC wasn’t the only one reaching a new peak in 2011. On August 2 at 4:41 p.m., Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (SPP) set a new regional electricity demand record of 54,949 megawatts (MW), surpassing the August 1, 2011 peak of 54,534 MW. Before that week, the previous record of 53,146 MW was set on August 11, 2010. “SPP who serves as the ‘air traffic controller’ for the regional electric grid, worked with member utilities to balance realPonds have completely dried up in many areas across the state leaving farmers and time electricity ranchers to seek alternatives for providing water. The hot summer temps also created supply and demand other hardships for those raising crops. during this recent heat wave,” said SPP Vice President of Operations Bruce Rew. “Despite record electricity use, we successfully used our region’s generators and transmission lines to meet demand and maintain grid reliability.” This record is for SPP’s Reliability Coordinator footprint, which includes territory in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New 4

Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. As the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissionapproved Reliability Coordinator for SPP members in this area, SPP monitors the status of the electric power network around-the-clock to ensure electricity safely and reliably gets to end-use customers. The record represents the combined demand SPP members served at a single point in time. SPP’s wholesale energy market also set an all-time peak on August 2, 2011. New Averages According to data from the Oklahoma Mesonet, the state’s climatological summer – June 1 through Aug. 31 – ended with a statewide average of 86.8 degrees, obliterating the previous state record of 85.2 degrees from the summer of 1934. In fact, that previous 1934 mark was the warmest summer on record for any state since records began in 1895. The statewide average high temperature through the summer was 100.5 degrees, topped by southwestern Oklahoma’s average high of 104 degrees, according to Oklahoma Mesonet data. Southwest Oklahoma, the area hit hardest by the drought and heat, had an average temperature of 91 degrees, 9.2 degrees above normal. That tops the previous warmest summer for that region by nearly 3 degrees. The average high temperature August in that corner of the state was 105 degrees, according to sources. The southwestern Oklahoma community of Grandfield marked 100 days of temperatures of 100 degrees or more on Sept. 12. Before this year, the state record for days at or above 100 degrees was 86 days at Hollis in 1956. The highest temperature during this summer was 115 degrees, recorded in June at Erick and Hollis and in August at Wilburton and Wister. Oklahoma City topped its record for hottest summer with an average of 87.5 degrees, surpassing the previous mark of 85.9 degrees set in 1934 and 1980, according to Oklahoma Climatological Survey information. Record Drought The excessive heat has been continually fed by extreme drought that began nearly a year ago. The statewide average precipitation total from Oct. 1, 2010 to Aug. 31, 2011, finished at 18.59 inches, which is 14.29 inches below normal and the third driest such period on record. That 11-month period was the driest on record for the panhandle, north central, west central and southwestern Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Mesonet sites at Boise City, Grandfield, Goodwell and Hooker all recorded less than 6 inches of rainfall since Oct. 1. Causes of Weather La Nina has officially returned to the equatorial pacific waters according to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center (CPC). The climate phenomenon, marked by cooler than normal waters off the west coast of South America, has been named as one of the primary culprits behind 2011’s extreme weather, sources have said. Current long-range forecasts indicate a gradual strengthening of La Nina and its impacts throughout the fall into the winter should be expected. “This means drought is likely to continue in the drought-stricken (Continued on Page 6) 5

Scorching Sun

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states of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico,” according to an NOAA press release. The shifting of air patterns in the equatorial pacific due to La Nina can lead to the disruption of normal weather patterns across the globe. The impacts most common in the United States are above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation across the southern one-third of the country and cooler and wetter than normal weather in the Pacific Northwest and Ohio Valley, sources have stated.


Climate Highlights U.S. climate highlights – August • Excessive heat in six states – Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana – resulted in their warmest August on record. • Despite record rainfall in parts of the country, drought covered about one-third of the contiguous United States, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The Palmer Hydrologic Drought Index indicated that parts of Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas are experiencing drought of greater intensity, but not yet duration, than those of the 1930s and 1950s. • An analysis of Texas statewide tree-ring records dating back to 1550 indicates that the summer 2011 drought in Texas is matched by only one summer (1789), indicating that the summer 2011 drought appears to be unusual even in the context of the multi-century tree-ring record.

U.S. climate highlights – Summer • Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Louisiana had their warmest (JuneAugust) summers on record. • Fifteen states had a summer average temperature ranking among their top ten warmest. • Texas had its driest summer on record, with a statewide average of 2.44 inches of rain. This is 5.29 inches below the long-term average, and 1.04 inches less than the previous driest summer in 1956. New Mexico had its second driest summer and Oklahoma its third driest summer. Source: NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, N.C.


Hugo Power Plant Testing To Evaluate Compliance


n important emissions study is under way at Western Farmers Electric Cooperative’s (WFEC) Hugo Power Plant. Current testing at the site will help determine if WFEC can remain in compliance with new rules and regulations expected soon from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Story & results could have significant impact on WFEC. Photos by “We wanted to stay ahead of the curve and understand what the new Mark rules might require of WFEC and the cost impact to members. That’s why Daugherty we voluntarily undertook the tests in this study,” noted WFEC Environmental Coordinator Gerald Butcher. “The regulation proposals are out there, and even though the rules are not final, we want to be prepared to meet any new rules.” The WFEC Hugo Plant burns a low-sulfur content coal that is mined in the Powder River Basin in Wyoming. Because of that, our plant did not require a scrubber to “clean” the coal further when it came on line 1982. The new EPA rules could change that. “Coal-fired plants produce comparatively cheap electricity,” stated WFEC Hugo Plant Manager David Sonntag. “But, like any fossil fuel including natural gas, burning coal also produces byproducts. For coal, those byproducts include sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx), particulate matter (PM) and certain other pollutants such as mercury, lead, arsenic, hydrogen chloride (HCl) and other chemicals in varying quantities. WFEC regularly monitors emissions from its power plants to comply with EPA, federal and state regulations. The tests we concluded recently will provide us with a baseline to work from with our plant and to see how we line up with more stringent emissions limits,” he continued. “If we end up with higher test numbers than those in the new regulations, we may have to add more controls to lower those emissions to Recent tests conducted at the Hugo Plant will comply with the new standards.” provide important baseline numbers about the plant’s emissions. This testing will help determine if Technology is available to reduce many WFEC can remain in compliance with new rules and emissions created from burning coal. Plants, regulations expected soon from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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Hugo Testing

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like Hugo, can be retro-fitted with scrubbers to reduce SO2 emissions; bag houses to reduce PM emissions; and, Dry Sorbent Injection (DSI) equipment to reduce mercury emissions, among others. However, as you might expect, those solutions come with a steep price tag. “These emissions controls could cost in the neighborhood of $350 million dollars,” Butcher explained. “That’s nearly as much as the original cost of building the Hugo Plant.” Butcher went on to say, “We will just have to see what results and recommendations come back from our consultants at Black & Veatch who are overseeing the study.” Personnel performing the tests worked from a platform on the stack located 360 feet above the ground. Monitoring tests were relayed to a portable laboratory trailer set up near the base of the stack. The collected data has been sent to another lab to analyze the chemical and emissions results. “We aren’t the only plant conducting tests,” Sonntag observed. “There are many coal-fired facilities undertaking these same preemptive steps. The new A technician adjusts instrumentation for testing at the Hugo Plant stack. proposed EPA rules have Personnel performing the tests worked from a platform on the stack located 360 feet above the ground. Monitoring tests were relayed to a been coming down the pike portable laboratory trailer set up near the base of the stack. for a while. But, it wasn’t until March 2011 when the EPA proposed its Air Toxics Rule to further address emissions and pollutants. If we do end up adding additional equipment, it will be in conformance with MACT.” The term “MACT” means Maximum Achievable Technology and refers to the best equipment and technologies currently available to reduce targeted emissions to permissible standards. The EPA’s stated hope is that by creating these increasingly stringent regulations, they will avert billions of dollars of potential health care costs they believe are created by coal-fired utilities. Conversely, the addition of costly “coal cleaning” equipment could mean the closure of many power plants across the country. The loss of coal as a fuel source could affect the reliability of the electricity grid and send the cost of producing electricity spiraling upward. So, how did the U.S., and specifically WFEC, become invested in the use of coal as a primary source of fuel for utility plants? The short story runs 8

something like this: in the 1970’s, an Arab oil embargo created visible political realities, including long gas lines. Subsequently, then-President Jimmy Carter called for a new American energy independence. That policy encouraged construction of new electric generation facilities that burned the country’s most abundant fossil fuel-coal. It also mandated that no new natural gas-fired generation would be constructed and that existing natural gas-fired generation could not be operated after a certain date. America’s electric power utilities ramped up and built new coal-fired electric generation facilities all across the country. Coal represented a plentiful source of home-grown, low-cost electricity. But, in the ensuing time and particularly in the recent past several years, the EPA became increasingly focused on emissions’ associated with burning coal. Influential environmental protection groups like the Sierra Club agitated against coal as a generation resource. “Coal” had become increasingly out of favor, and those plants that burned it faced constrictive regulation. Specialized instrumentation, utilizing glass tubing called Today, one way electric cooperatives fight to mitigate or delay impingers, is used to collect those restrictive regulations is through their collective political condensed gases. WFEC arm, the National Rural Electric Cooperatives (NRECA). Recently regularly monitors emissions from its power plants to comply NRECA pushed passage of H.R.2401 (TRAIN) by the U.S. with EPA, federal and state House of Representatives which requires cost/benefit analysis of regulations. The recent tests proposed EPA regulations. NRECA maintained that, “Electric bills will provide a baseline to see how the plant lines up with cannot remain affordable unless EPA regulations are achievable more stringent emissions limits. with reasonable compliance timelines.” Whether TRAIN will pass the Senate remains to be seen. But, cooperatives believe providing reliable, reasonably-priced electricity for rural Americans is still a cause worth fighting for.


A testing chemist prepares a solution that will be used to collect information atop the Hugo Plant stack. Like WFEC, many coal-fired facilities are undertaking these same preemptive steps.


Endangered Species Listing Could Impact Rural Areas


n the overall “big picture� of transmission access, who would ever think that a small bird or lizard could be a critical factor in determining the direction of future growth? Recent meetings in Edmond and Woodward focused on the potential of placing the lesser prairie chicken and the sand dunes lizard on the Story by endangered species list. This move could have negative long-lasting impacts for Sondra the service area of Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC). Boykin U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe and Oklahoma Secretary of Environment Gary Sherrer hosted this forum with newly confirmed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. WFEC was represented to voice their concerns about this designation, and its potential impact across Oklahoma and New Mexico. Many lawmakers, particularly those in western Oklahoma, are concerned the potential listing of the lesser prairie chicken could harm the wind energy industry. Also, representatives of the transportation, utility and oil and natural gas industries have voiced concern about how the bird’s listing could be detrimental to their growth in western Oklahoma, according to Associated Press reports. Currently, the lesser prairie chicken and the sand dune lizard are both candidate species, which are those actively being considered for listing as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The lesser prairie chicken has been a candidate species for the previous 10 years. However, beginning in January 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) initiated the listing process for the lesser prairie chicken under the Endangered Species Act. The Service expects to issue a proposed rule on whether to list the species in 2012. This Act allows the Service to determine that a listing is not necessary if there are enough conservation measures in place due to a state plan or other measures to allow the Service to direct its resources elsewhere. The lesser prairie chicken occupies a five-state range that includes Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Lesser Prairie Chicken Kansas and Colorado and specifically the service territories of a number of WFEC member distribution cooperatives in Oklahoma and New Mexico. The Dunes Sagebrush Lizard, often called Sand Dune Lizard, is a rare species found only in the active and semi-stable shinnery oak dunes of 10

southeastern New Mexico and adjacent Texas. The Dunes Sagebrush Lizard is listed as endangered by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and has been a candidate species for listing under the Endangered Species Act by the U.S. FWS since 2001. “WFEC is very concerned about the impacts that listing the candidate species will have on cost and our ability to build and maintain our transmission lines and generation resources necessary to serve rural Oklahoma and New Mexico,” commented Brian Hobbs, vice president, Legal and Corporate Services. Dunes Sagebrush Lizard “Most rural areas are at a significant disadvantage regarding cost of service due to the comparatively sparse population. That is no more true anywhere than western Oklahoma and southeastern New Mexico,” he added. Hobbs stressed to the group of attendees that electric service is the key to the other activities that are the basis for local economies including farming and ranching, oil and gas exploration and extraction, and wind energy development. He noted that all of these vital activities would be negatively impacted by the official listing of the two candidate species. State legislators have indicated that Oklahomans must act quickly to protect the habitat of the lesser prairie chicken in western Oklahoma to have any chance of keeping the bird from being listed as a threatened or endangered species. The most important steps Oklahoma could take is to improve the native grasslands that make up the bird’s natural habitat, officials have said. A 24-month extension to the Wildlife Service’s timeline has been requested, but officials have indicated that granting an extension could be difficult. In his discussion at the forum, Hobbs pointed out that the activities identified as threatening the candidate species are those same activities that are the economic basis in the rural areas and communities affected by the potential listing. He noted that climatic conditions are also blamed, particularly drought. “We strongly oppose using the Endangered Species Act to regulate climate change or green-house gases in any manner,” Hobbs commented. “While appreciating the need to protect species, we are concerned with the potential listing on several fronts. The supporting science related to the endangerment of the lesser prairie chicken and sand dunes lizard is suspect at best. We are concerned that recovery of attorney fees for groups pursuing listing creates inappropriate incentives and encourages reliance on questionable science,” Hobbs pointed out. (Continued on Page 12) 11

Endangered List

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“Some balance of the economic harm must be considered as well. We are also extremely concerned with the relatively small group of people that will bear the economic burden of listing the candidate species. Costs and burdens are not appropriately allocated,” Hobbs added. In a later interview, Ryan Jackson, chief of staff for Senator Inhofe, responded to several questions regarding the topic itself, as well as the effect of the forum and public comments received. When asked about the potential impact of the candidate species if they become listed under the Endangered Species Act, he had the following response: “We have seen from other examples the problems that follow from listing species A listing affects how a farmer on the endangered species list. Not only does a listing bring restrictions on economic uses his land, where and how development, but once a species is on energy production happens, where the list they rarely ever come off. In fact, it required an Act of Congress to remove the pipelines have to be placed, where last species from the list," Jackson noted. roadways have to be diverted, "The Federal government needs to be looking at ways to increase economic among many, many other issues. development. Imposing an increasing amount of new federal regulations is not the ---Ryan Jackson, way to do that. However, that is lost on this Chief of Staff for Senator Jim Inhofe Administration. Job creators need certainty and the only certainty they have from this Administration is that that their cost of doing business will continue to rise to comply with new federal regulations. Increased costs keep job creators from hiring people,” he explained. Jackson noted that it is difficult at this point to know who would be most impacted. “However, the forums featured representatives from agriculture, oil and gas production and transmission, wind energy production, utilities, construction and five cabinet secretaries and a corporation commissioner, all providing examples of the negative impact on Oklahoma jobs that a new listing would create,” he explained.  “A listing affects how a farmer uses his land, where and how energy production happens, where pipelines have to be placed, where roadways have to be diverted, among many, many other issues,” Jackson pointed out, adding that the most impacted through all of these requirements would likely be Oklahoma consumers. Many participants at the meetings said a listing decision would be devastating. “When increased costs are placed on key Oklahoma job creators, not only are they less able to hire but the costs are simply passed on to Oklahoma consumers. For example, increased costs on our electric cooperatives ultimately increases Oklahoma consumers cost for simply flipping on the light switch at your


home,” Jackson explained. “Another example was provided by Transportation Secretary Ridley who pointed out the delays transportation projects have experienced due to compliance with endangered species listings. Unfinished projects and delayed road projects are a safety hazard to all Oklahomans,” Jackson stated.  Jackson believes that the most recent meetings will be crucial in this decision, with all the comments offered being made a part of the decision-making record on this listing. “We can avoid a listing. Oklahoma just needs to develop its own plan and keep new federal regulation out of the state,” he pointed out. Oklahoma Secretary of Environment Gary Sherrer noted that the impact could be very far reaching, with potential restrictions on development in areas identified as critical habitat. “Any new development could be required to perform either mitigation to preserve habitat or modifications so that the effect on the lesser prairie chicken is minimized. This could not only bring about higher costs for construction, but could require certain industries to have restricted hours during certain times, such as the bird’s mating season,” commented Sherrer. He believes that the energy industry would be most harmed by the listing, with wind energy, oil and gas and transmission and pipelines all having potential restrictions placed on their development. “The U.S. FWS has the ability to restrict anything that could have negative effects on the bird, regardless of economics. If these industries are restricted, it is going to have an effect directly on the communities and the school systems, simply because of a loss in tax revenues and indirect job loss,” Sherrer commented. Sherrer said he was very pleased that Director Ashe came to Oklahoma to hear concerns about this issue. “Senator Inhofe set up these meetings and they were well attended by landowners and industry representatives,” he pointed out. “Based on the comments from Director Ashe, he seems willing to work with Oklahoma in the development of a plan that will allow the lesser prairie chicken to thrive without listing it as an endangered species. Our office is currently working on the development of this plan with all involved parties,” Sherrer pointed out.  “Our underlying goal is to increase the number of birds in a way that recognizes economic development. We have many partners that are willing to work with us as we continue to work with our counterparts in other states for the development of a range wide plan,” Sherrer concluded. Scott Williams, commercial and industrial marketing manager and legislative coordinator, noted that WFEC maintains an ongoing relationship with legislators concerning environmental issues that could have an effect within the service territory. Environmental staff also keeps a close watch on issues that could have potential bearing on WFEC and its member cooperatives. Senator Inhofe expressed his appreciation for WFEC’s participation in the recent lesser prairie chicken forums. “WFEC continually stays well informed and active on issues that affect WFEC members,” Inhofe commented.

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Oklahoma Cooperatives Team Up For CoachesAid Media Day Event


beneficial partnership between the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives Story by of Oklahoma and CoachesAid recently drew over 800 athletes and Sondra coaches to a successful regional media day events. High school athletics Boykin was the topic for each event as representatives of football, baseball, volleyball and cross country track teams gathered at a site in their area for a CoachesAid First Look Media Day. Photos by Events were hosted in late August and early September in Tahlequah, WFEC Guymon, Lawton, Chickasha and Alva, with cooperative representatives assisting Comm. with the event in their respective regions. Cooperative participation focused on Staff attracting smaller schools from respective service territories from across the state to this event that typically is dominated by larger schools. Photo sessions were among the highlights of the day, as players flexed their muscles for the camera, wearing retro-style sunglasses that were given to each attendee. These photos are available for download at Each event also featured drawings for prizes, vendor booths and CoachesAid interviews. Live stream video demonstrations were also provided. CoachesAid is a website and media outlet dedicated to high school sports coverage. Founded in 1999, Coaches Aid has been providing first-hand reporting of high school sports, preseason rankings, original podcasts, video coverage, blogs, school schedules, rosters and original stories. Motivational speakers were also a part of each day’s agenda. With encouraging words and thoughts on teamwork, decision-making and leadership, these speakers engaged each of their audiences with new ideas and life experiences. Lunch was served at each of the Media Day events. Tomi Lorah, a cross country track coach at Attendees at the Lawton event enjoyed lunch on the Elgin High School, noted that the speakers were balcony at Cameron University (top). Distribution all good and pointed out that the kids seemed cooperative staffs also assisted with each Media Day event in their area. Among those assisting at Cameron to enjoy what they had to say. “It offered a good University, listed with their respective cooperative, send-off to the season,” Lorah commented. included (from left) Lisa Richard (Harmon); Linda As for the on-camera interviews with Robison (Kiwash); Melvin Jones (Cotton); and Lisa Willard (Kiwash). CoachesAid, “they provided the kids with a good 14

opportunity to be in front of the camera,” explained Lorah. “They have all become accustomed to texting on their phones - this is good practice with face-to-face communications,” she added. Kayla Baumgartner, a sophomore at Elgin High School, said that the speakers provided her with a new mindset, based on their enlightening presentations. Kenny White, a coach at Tipton High School, brought his volleyball team to this year’s event in Lawton. “It was really good for the kids to come to something like this. They gained knowledge that will be good for both athletics, as well as academics,” he pointed out. According to Tony Roberts, a coach at Empire High School, who accompanied his football team to the CoachesAid Media Day in Lawton, the motivational speakers offered good advice for the students. “They talked about the effort it takes to make a team and the importance of team-building,” he explained. “We have a lot of good information to take back to school with us to share with the kids,” Roberts pointed out. In addition, he commented, Among the cooperative staff assisting with the event “they also learned about establishing good in Alva, included (top) Kenny Waugh (Northfork); and character that can be built upon for the future.” Terry Ryel (Alfalfa). Those assisting for the day helped Live Stream Video with activities such as registration, cooking & serving the meal and providing information. Earlier in the spring, workshops were hosted by several Touchstone Energy Cooperatives across the state to discuss options available with live stream video. CoachesAid was also involved with these workshops. This live stream video service is currently being offered to all schools, as a way for them to not only reach out to their community and students, but as a potential revenue generating opportunity for participating schools. This innovative service offers many great benefits, among which includes increased exposure from university coaches and local media, at a time when many athletes are preparing for future college endeavors. “What a great avenue of opportunity to allow students to showcase their talents,” commented Mark Faulkenberry, manager, Marketing and Communications at WFEC . “For example, if a college or university coach is unable to attend a particular event, they can simply be guided to an Internet site for viewing,” he added. This unique Internet opportunity not only applies to coaches, but also to family members and friends who are unable to attend a school event. (Continued on Page 16) 15

Media Day Events

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However, athletes aren’t the only ones to benefit or gain recognition from this opportunity, Faulkenberry noted. There may be students in a school play who are seeking a drama scholarship or a band member seeking a chance to play for a university band. There may also be students who would like to go into sports broadcasting. Having the chance to provide commentary on sporting events that are being streamed would be good exposure for showing their respective talents, he pointed out. High school Motivational speakers addressed the athletes attending the event, graduations can also be streamed live, offering advice on teamwork, decision-making and leadership. which would be great for those friends or relatives who may be unable to attend the event. “Most students are involved in at least some form of extra-curricular activity, so this can benefit virtually every student,” Faulkenberry commented. “It is another way for cooperatives to reach out to their rural schools, and in the end, possibly create a revenue-generating endeavor for each participating school.”



ETC Provides Networking Opportunities for Attendees


nnovation, ideas and interaction were all a part of the 11th annual Emerging Technology Conference (ETC), hosted recently in Norman. Key account managers, commercial customers, cooperative representatives and industryrelated vendors took part in this annual event that was hosted over a two-day Story & period. Photos by Some 150 attended this year’s conference, which consisted of an opening Sondra reception, a golf tournament and a group dinner/mystery theater, followed by the Boykin day-long session featuring several informative presentations. Western Farmers Electric Cooperative (WFEC) hosted this August event, on behalf of and with the support of its member Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. Sponsorships for this annual event are secured prior to the conference by WFEC Marketing personnel. Among the topics were bioenergy usage by cooperatives and their alliances, existing LED projects and an overview of current industry topics specifically related to WFEC. Also, participants were enlightened by a presentation focusing on how today’s business leaders must alter their ways of operation due to Various industry-related vendors provided informational booths during the the influx of social networking Emerging Technology Conference, hosted recently in Norman. These booths and its dramatic and offered attendees networking opportunities and new ideas. Vendors also immediate impacts. provided door prize drawings for those registered for the ETC. Networking is among the major benefits of the ETC. Not only do cooperative key account managers have the chance to spend time with their customers, but other opportunities are also available through talking with other attendees and vendors. For Rodney Green, electrical superintendent for the City of Anadarko, meeting new people and visiting with the various vendors was very helpful for him. Green attended the conference as a guest of Caddo Electric. Tami Tollenaar of the T Bar M Ranch enjoyed the opportunity of gaining information about current energy trends, along with the political aspects of the industry. Tollenar attended the event as a guest of Southeastern Electric (Continued on Page 18) 17

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Cooperative and also served on a panel discussion regarding an existing LED lighting project. Manuel Quiroz, staking superintendent at Lea County Electric Cooperative (LCEC) in Lovington, NM, noted that he had enjoyed attending this year’s conference and looks forward to bringing more employees and key account customers in the future. He added that the speakers were all very knowledgeable about their respective topics. While a large portion of LCEC’s customer base is oil and gas related, he feels the information gained from this meeting will be useful in the future. Austin Partida, member services representative at Key Electric Cooperative in Blackwell, also felt the information from the meeting will be very useful in the future in dealing with key account customers. “It is nice to be able to sit down and visit with our key account customers in a setting such as this. They really do appreciate it.” The ETC has grown into a well-recognized event over the past 11 years, both at the state and national levels. Matching customers with their respective cooperatives, all in an effort to improve service, is what cooperatives are all about.


A panel discussion involving LED light usage in agriculture applications was among the presentations during the ETC. Those taking part were Jim Coleman, marketing director at Southeastern Electric Cooperative; Tami Tollenaar of the T Bar M Ranch: Brian Sloboda, NRECA; and Scott Williams, commercial and industrial marketing manager and legislative coordinator at WFEC.

Jerry Bingold, director of renewable energy for the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, spoke to the ETC audience about bioenergy initiatives. The topic of anaerobic digesters was specifically addressed.


Personnel Changes

Greg Giles – 6/20/11 Trans. Appr. III Technician, Step 2 to Trans. Appr. IV, Technician, Step 1 Transmission Services

Koty Pahukoa – 6/20/11 Trans. Appr. III Technician, Step 2 to Trans. Appr. IV Technician, Step 1 Transmission Services

Bryan Elwood – 6/20/11 Trans. Appr. III Technician, Step 2 to Trans. Appr. IV Technician, Step 1 Transmission Services

Kenny Flood – 6/20/11 Substation Appr. V Technician, Step 1 to Substation Appr. V Technician, Step 2 Station Services

Mike Akin – 6/20/11 Substation Apprentice V Technician, Step 2 to Station Technician Station Services

Greg Butler – 6/20/11 Appr. V Station Maint. Mechanic, Step 2 to Journeyman Station Maint. Mechanic Station Services

Jeramy Hollowell – 6/20/11 Trans. Appr. V Technician, Step 2 to Power Line Technician Transmission Services

Wasey Lamar – 6/20/11 Trans. Apprentice V Technician, Step 2 to Power Line Technician Transmission Services

Jacyn Brooks – 6/20/11 Appr. II Station Maint. Mechanic, Step 1 to Appr. II Station Maint. Mechanic, Step 2 Station Services

Jeramy Tackett – 6/20/11 Substation Appr. IV Technician, Step 1 to Substation Appr. IV Technician, Step 2 Station Services

Charlie Dunbar – 6/20/11 Appr. III Station Maint. Mechanic, Step 2 to Appr. IV Station Maint. Mechanic, Step 1 Station Services

Nancy Hedrick – 7/4/11 Appr. Mechanic II, Step 1 to Appr. Mechanic II, Step 2 Hugo Maintenance Boiler


Personnel Changes

David Sonntag – 7/18/11 Manager, Generation Engineering to Manager, Hugo Plant

Kim Sullivan – 8/1/11 Power Market Coordinator to Senior Operations Analyst Regional Market Planning

Mike Meason – 8/15/11 Senior Network Engineer to Manager, Technical Services Technical Services

Lacey Owen – 8/15/11 Financial Services Clerk to Project Doc. Coordinator Transmission, Engineering & Operations


Carroll Reddick – 8/15/11 Trans. Operator to Chief Trans. Operator Transmission, Engineering & Operations

CECU Traci Britt, member service representative of Cooperative Employees Credit Union, began her duties on Aug. 22. She lives in Anadarko with husband, James, and kids, Seth, Dane’, Halee, Chelsea and Daylen. Britt attended Redrocks Community College in Lakewood, Colo. and was previously employed by MidFirst Bank in Anadarko as branch manager. Hobbies include spending time with her family, church and movies. 20

Dianne Rogers – 8/12/11 PC Support Technician Information Services

Service Awards 30 Years

Linda Barrow – 8/10/81 Tom Pike – 7/6/81 Chemical Systems Supervisor Compensation Specialist Anadarko Headquarters Hugo Power Plant

Charles Gregg – 8/24/81 Senior Computer Technician Hugo Power Plant

Larry McPherson – 8/24/81 Warehouse Worker Anadarko Headquarters

Steve Coon – 10/1/81 Transmission Engineer III Anadarko Headquarters

Michael Smith – 9/14/81 Transmission Project Coordinator Anadarko Headquarters

Carolyn Gamble – 9/15/81 Systems Administrator Anadarko Headquarters

Larry Rhodes – 9/14/81 Fuel Systems Operator Hugo Power Plant

25 Years

Kathy Babb – 9/28/81 Financial Services Supervisor Anadarko Headquarters

Durlan Utley – 8/18/86 Engineering Superintendent Hugo Power Plant

20 Years

Benny Smith – 8/19/91 Lead Station Technician Anadarko Headquarters

10 Years

Pam Luna – 7/9/01 Secretary, Hugo Plant Hugo Power Plant


Service Awards 10 Years

Wendy Knight – 8/1/01 Warehouse Worker Hugo Power Plant

Clay Carr – 8/3/01 Asst.Transmission Operator Anadarko Headquarters

Darwin Head -8/6/01 Relief Control Room Operator Anadarko Headquarters

Sarah Shenold – 8/21/01 Senior Accountant Anadarko Headquarters

Stephen Phillips – 9/10/01 Journeyman Power Line Technician Mooreland Line Crew

Josh Kirby – 9/27/01 Senior Operations Analyst Anadarko Headquarters


Maria Crowder – 8/13/01 Information Specialist Anadarko Headquarters

Service Awards In Memoriam

5 Years

Rick Bryan – 7/10/06 Journeyman Power Line Technician Frederick Crew

Greg Butler – 8/28/06 Journeyman Station Maint. Mechanic Anadarko Headquarters

Wasey Lamar – 8/28/06 Power Line Technician Hennessey Crew

Jeramy Hollowell – 8/28/06 Power Line Technician Anadarko Headquarters

Julie Tackett – 8/28/06 Accountant II Anadarko Headquarters

Kalun Kelley – 9/1/06 Manager, Commercial & Industrial Marketing Anadarko Headquarters

W.R. (Bill) Thompson, 69, who was serving as an alternate on the WFEC Board of Trustees, passed away on July 14, 2011. He represented Central Valley Electric Cooperative in Artesia, N.M. and resided in Dexter, N.M. Memorial services were July 20 at the First United Methodist Church in Roswell, N.M. He was born April 21, 1942 in Carlsbad, N.M. Thompson married Peggy Thorpe on June 7, 1964 in Las Cruces, N.M. He is survived by his wife, of the home; two sons: Troy Thompson and his wife Gayle, and Trace Thompson, both of Dexter; a brother; a brother in-law; and two grandchildren. Thompson was a retired County Extension Agent of Chaves County. After he retired from the Extension Service, he worked for Michelet Homestead Realty until June of 2011. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church. He was also a member of the American Quarter Horse Assoc., Chaves County Rodeo Assoc, American Paint Horse Assoc., U.S. Team Roping Assoc., and Working Ranch Cowboys Assoc. He was a member of Farm Bureau and Chaves County Planning and Zoning Committee and a Trustee of Central Valley Electric Cooperative. He was also an avid supporter of Chaves County 4-H and FFA youth. 23

Western Farmers Electric Cooperative P. O. Box 429 Anadarko, OK 73005-0429


Happy Birthday October Chris Saathoff Lynn Ferrell Dan Henderson Mike Robison Jason Hamilton Jackie Johnson Jacyn Brooks Jayme Wilkerson Tom Pike Gerald Butcher Jason Yarnell Lonnie Biggerstaff Steve Miller Johnny Bray Hugh Dunkin James Diggs Bill Schaefer Clem Cassmeyer Jerry Johnson Mike Hall Eddie Childs Melinda Witte Ronnie Fields Gary Nielsen Larry Rhodes Charlie Mitchell Gary Roulet Rodney Wren Wendi Bragg Nancy Hedrick 24


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David Koetter Troy Currier Brenton Mayfield Pamela Pendley John Parker Scott Babcock Jon Weaver Freida Jones Wayne Morris Michelle Head Ray Gamble Josh Massie Bobby Wallace Darwin Head Mick Hall Wayne Foster Thomas Henry Mike Doyal Mica Holbrook Ron Dickinson Dustin Brownfield

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Johnny Long Zach Low Steve Feltman J.D. Lewis Priscilla Haywood CR Kornele Jason Burd Mitch Williams Paula Parker Tanner Williams Ty Carlson Tina Adams Tom Martin Charles Hackney Charlie Goodson Carl Pyle Dave Sonntag David Salyer Larry Arthur Ben Wetherill Jeramy Hollowell Danny Sells J.J. Lange Dustin Oswald Kyle Power Jayson Morgan Robert Elrod Rusty Weaver Gary Blackburn Don Beaty Devon Berndsen Kent Aebischer Theo Stafford Della Amstutz Marc Jared Greg Butler Joe Eldred Tony Roberts Trint Trapp

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Western Farmers Enercom - Fall Quarter 2011  

Fall Quarter 2011 Issue of Western Farmers Enercom Magazine