Tag Archive for 'Barbara Walz'

Barbara Walz honored with 2013 Women in Manufacturing STEP Award

Barbara-WalzBarbara Walz, senior vice president, policy and compliance/chief compliance officer for Tri-State G&T, has been recognized for excellence in manufacturing with the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Award.

The Manufacturing Institute and its STEP Ahead initiative partners recognized Walz and other STEP award recipients at a reception in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 5. The program highlighted each honoree’s story, including their leadership and accomplishments.

As an executive with a cooperative wholesale power supplier producing electricity that is vital to the manufacturing sector, Walz was recognized as an industry leader who addresses regulatory issues in energy and environment to ensure reasonable regulation and strong industry performance. Walz testified before Congress several times in the past year about regulations that drive up power costs and affect the economy.

“Economic growth, investment and job creation in American manufacturing is bolstered with effective policy,” said Walz.  “We must ensure energy and environmental legislation and regulation is based on sound science, administered fairly, and gives industry options and flexibility in compliance.”  Continue reading ‘Barbara Walz honored with 2013 Women in Manufacturing STEP Award’

Teachers head to class at Tri-State

NEED instructor Vernon Kimball (center) works with teachers attending this week’s conference for educators hosted and sponsored by Tri-State and its members.

As part of Tri-State’s ongoing program to reach out to educators to provide information on the energy industry that they can bring back to their classrooms and incorporate into their lesson plans, the association hosted its second annual teacher training conference this week at headquarters.

The 27 registered attendees were primarily middle school and high school teachers from school districts within Tri-State’s member service territories. The three-day conference wrapped up on August 9 with closing remarks from executive vice president and general manager Ken Anderson.

For this year’s teacher training conference, Tri-State worked in partnership with the not-for-profit National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project based in Manassas, Va., to conduct the program. NEED works with energy companies, agencies and organizations to bring balanced energy programs to the nation’s schools through teacher training and development.

The intensive conference agenda, conducted by retired teacher Vernon Kimball, was intended to engage its participants and goes beyond the typical lecture with handouts. The teachers at the conference are challenged with a variety of energy problems and exercises that test their energy knowledge as well as arm them with lots of materials and ideas for bringing more energy-related curriculum into their classrooms. Continue reading ‘Teachers head to class at Tri-State’

Tri-State Senior VP provides Congressional testimony on regulations

Earlier this year, Barbara Walz,  Tri-State’s senior vice president for member relations and external affairs, testified before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce regarding regulations affecting private businesses.

The hearing occured on February 16 and included discussion on cost implications that EPA regulations are having on Tri-State’s mission to provide affordable and reliable electricity to its 44 member co-ops.

New Mexicans support repeal of costly state GHG cap-and-trade rules

Representatives of New Mexico’s electric cooperatives on Nov. 8 delivered petitions with the signatures of 16,875 citizens urging the repeal of state greenhouse gas rules. Resolutions from cooperatives, local governments and school districts also support the repeal.

Billy Tate, Farmers Electric Cooperative, and Chuck Pinson, president of NMRECA and general manager of Central Valley Electric Cooperative, display petitions with the signatures of 16,875 citizens in support of repealing New Mexico’s state greenhouse gas rules.

Supporters delivered the petitions to the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) on the first day of public hearings regarding the repeal of the rules.

In late 2010, the EIB approved state rules requiring reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in New Mexico. However, a required economic analysis of the rules’ effects on New Mexico’s economy, job growth and electricity rates was not completed prior to the approval.

The rules carry a major cost for New Mexicans without providing environmental benefits. The rules also would cost New Mexico jobs at the very time when consumers can least afford another economic setback.

The New Mexico EIB is currently considering repealing these rules. The EIB held its first public hearings in Santa Fe on Nov. 8-9.

On day one, 18 parties testified during the hearing in support of the repeal with none in opposition. Providing public comments were representatives from the state’s electric co-ops, Association of Commerce and Industry of New Mexico and Clovis Chamber of Commerce, as well as a number of area citizens. Additionally, Tri-State Escalante Station employees Chock Black, Tim Hoisington, Tim Lujan and Brian Tychener offered comments.

An economic analysis of the cap-and-trade rule completed since the rules’ passing found its costs far outweigh the insignificant reductions in greenhouse gases. Specifically, the analysis found the rule would:

  • Reduce New Mexico’s economic output by $828 million to $1.6 billion through 2030
  • Reduce New Mexico job creation by 649 to 1,736 workers by 2020
  • Reduce global greenhouse gas emissions annually by two to six thousandths of one percent (0.002 – 0.006%)
Tri-State’s Barbara Walz, senior vice president of external affairs and member relations (far left), provides comments during Tuesday’s hearing.

New Mexico’s electric cooperatives support the repeal of these rules as part of their efforts to maintain access to affordable and reliable electricity. Electric consumers from across the state have rallied around the cooperatives’ “Keep Electricity Affordable” campaign.

“These 16,875 signatures send a clear message to the New Mexico EIB,” said Charles Pinson, president of the board of directors of the New Mexico Rural Electric Cooperative Association. “New Mexicans want affordable, reliable electricity that powers job growth. Last year’s EIB rules would do just the opposite, reducing jobs and punishing the state’s economy without making a difference in emissions.”

Resolutions also were submitted from several electric cooperatives, business groups, the Curry County and Rio Arriba boards of county commissioners and the Espanola and Jemez Mountains school districts.

The hearing, as well as the public comment period, will resume on Tuesday, Nov. 15.


VP of External Affairs, Barbara Walz, testifies at Senate committee hearing

Members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee for Clean Air and Nuclear Safety convened June 30 to discuss several of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new air emissions rules for power plants, which are expected to be issued in the near future.  Tri-State’s senior vice president of external affairs, Barbara Walz, was among the expert witnesses who testified at the hearing.

Walz was invited to participate by Senator John Barrasso, R-WY, who serves on the committee.  “It’s vitally important that members of Congress are aware of some of the misguided policies and regulations that the EPA is considering,” Walz said.  “For example, if enacted, the proposed Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology rule could end up costing Tri-State and other electric
utilities billions of dollars over the next few years – and in our case, that would have a direct impact on our member co-ops and their end-use consumers.”

Other witnesses who testified included EPA assistant administrator Gina McCarthy, as well as Bryan Shaw, the chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, who recently said, “This [Clean Air Transport] rule, if we correctly understand its final form, puts at risk the economic future by jeopardizing power generation and those dependent on affordable electricity in Texas.”