Commentary

Fifty years of history

In 2013, Wabash Valley Power marked its 50th anniversary and took the opportunity to reflect back on its rich history. Twenty-one distribution cooperatives came together in 1963 to create the generation and transmission (G&T) cooperative, and there have been many challenges and successes in the decades in between. Through it all, the focus has remained on serving our cooperative members. ...Read More

Don Gulley is President/CEO of Southern Illinois Power Cooperative the generation and ­transmission cooperative serving seven electric distribution cooperatives in Illinois.

Q&A with new SIPC President

Let me start by saying how ­humbled and grateful I am that the SIPC Board of Directors entrusted me with this ­respon­sibility. Growing up in southern Illinois, I understand the value of hard work and the importance of ­family and neighbors – southern Illinois values. Coming back “home” to the SIPC member owners was a perfect fit. Born and raised in ...Read More

Doing the right thing

Many times this past winter I looked out the window and thought about how thankful I was to simply be warm. For me, this quickly lead to thoughts ­regarding the complexity and volatility of the production and transmission of electricity, ­probably because this is what I’ve spent my life doing. I have witnessed changes in the electric industry that I would ...Read More

Solving the job skills gap…together

Soon after I began ­working for East Central Illinois Development Corporation (ECIDC) in 2010, I was surprised to hear ­business ­leaders express frustrations over their ­inability to find enough workers to fill ­manufacturing jobs. How could this be when our area unemployment rates had been so high? What I have since learned is there is a significant gap between the skills ...Read More

Action_for_Commentary

Help keep rates affordable

Illinois’ not-for-profit electric ­cooperatives work very hard to provide their members with elec­tricity that is safe, reliable and affordable. Co-ops support an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, one that incor­porates coal, natural gas, nuclear and ­renewable energy to generate power. While this strategy was endorsed by President Obama in his January 2012 State of the Union Address, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ...Read More

French-Maid's_42

Illinois is expanding broadband in rural areas

Ultra high-speed Internet access is a key to success for rural Illinois, now and in the future. In order to remain competitive in today’s digital society, Illinois must have broadband infrastructure that is second to none. Access to quality, high-speed Internet for all Illinois residents provides opportunities for a better education, better jobs, and ultimately better ­living here in the ...Read More

Stopping the new blackout threat

Security of the nation’s electric grid has received a lot of attention lately. National Geographic’s October 27th airing of “American Blackout,” a docudrama about a nationwide blackout following a cyber-attack may have been fiction, but the threat is real. Reports of high-profile hacking attempts on elec­trical facilities by parties foreign and domestic, mischievous and nefarious, keep making front-page news. In fact, ...Read More

Hitting the trail for Wounded Warriors

I am a part-time pharmacist at Dale’s Southlake Pharmacy in Decatur. The owner Dale and I met at a fundraiser a few years before he invited me to work a Saturday for him, and now I’m fortunate to be the regular weekend pharmacist. I’m lucky to have a job, but luckier to be ­associated with Dale and his family.To say ...Read More

Cooperatives prepared for the long term

A year ago I wrote that we were seeing historic lows for the electricity commodity and that they couldn’t last forever. Predicting prices would rise wasn’t tough. The question was how much and how fast? We’re already seeing some early signs of price instability and rising rates. We are also seeing drastic cuts to base load capacity due to generation ...Read More

Creating entrepreneur opportunities in hometowns

I’ve been involved in education for a long time, and I’ve worked with kids from all over the United States. There is an unfortunate viewpoint that many young people share: opportunity is something that exists elsewhere. We all worry about that, don’t we? We worry that, after our kids grow up and leave, our towns will age and eventually wither ...Read More