As the winter storms roll through the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation in South Dakota an affiliate of Touchstone Energy Cooperative, Central Electric Cooperative, chose to cut the power to infirmed, elderly and family homes. With an unusually bitter winter thus far families were thrust into life threatening situations as power for their homes was summarily cut. Exorbitant reconnection fees gouged this impoverished American Indian Community as people were forced to pay what was nothing more than extortion.
The bitter irony to this situation was the fact a hydro-electric dam was built on their tribal land. The terms for construction were quite simple, give the tribe free electricity as the conditions for building the dam. Sadly that was not the case as yet another promise or treaty was broken in the interests of the corporate bottom line. The fact the power was shut off during the dead of winter was a clear violation of a long standing policy forbidding the removal of services such as electricity during winter. With the winter as extreme as it has been this year makes this a Human Rights Violation, plain and simple. The fact elderly people on electric medical devices as well as infants were living in these homes showed cause for a criminal investigation at the very least.
Where temperatures have dipped below -50 in one of the worst winters in as many years this was a crime against humanity. Leaving elderly people who needed respirators to fend for themselves in the bitter cold was a shear act of brutality. Leaving children to freeze in the harsh winter months was a total and callous disregard for life and all of which should be investigated and the culprit’s charges with crimes against humanity.
This shameful display of wanton disregard for human life will reflect negatively on Touchstone Energy Cooperative since Central Electric Cooperative is under their watchful wing. If it was not for the valiant efforts of Can-Do, a nonprofit organization, the smell of death would permeate the air whence the spring thaw came to this region. With extreme winter conditions still plaguing this region as of this writing the death toll may still be of significant consequence as storms pummel this impoverished region of America. The Central Electric Coop will surely have blood on their hands if death is the bounty for their conduct. Touchstone Energy Cooperative COO Jim Bausell will have to come up with some real answers as to why their affiliate decided to pull meters in the dead of winter. Is this the standing policy of Touchstone and their associates across the country or is this just the policy on American Indian Reservations? And why was the agreement to provide electricity to the people of the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation ignored? I would like to know and I am sure the whole world would like to know as well.
The world should know about this horrific state of affairs within the continental United States of America. The world should know the people who’ve chosen to disregard the basics of human rights and dignity as well as their associates for they are nothing more than common criminals. And if someone dies because of their gross misconduct they should be tried for murder.
Please take the time to review the video I provided and take the time to write your state and federal representatives to show your disgust. There is no question Touchstone Energy will have their corporate hands out to collect their share of Stimulus Money. They will want some of that corporate welfare to bolster their corporate bottom line. Sadly when it came to the good people of the Crow Creek Sioux Indian Reservation they could not show the slightest bit of humanity.
I am providing contact information for your convenience;
1. Central Electric Coop
PO Box 850
1420 North Main Street
Mitchell, SD 57301 USA
Plankinton Branch Office:
PO Box 130
102 South Main Street
Plankinton, SD 57301 USA
Toll Free in SD: 800.477.2892
2. Touchstone Energy Coop
4301 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22203-1860
General Telephone: 703.907.5500
General Fax: 703.907.5554
Communications and Media Relations: