From a layman's viewpoint, it appears the Imperial Irrigation District Board of Directors panicked regarding the power division's ability to provide power when needed.
From the article in the Imperial Valley Press regarding the public response concerning the IID's purchase of an interest in a natural gas well to provide a source of energy for its generators outside the normal market, the public said no, but the IID ignored the public's voice anyway and made a bid that proved unsuccessful.
My feeling is with the current natural gas shortage, there is nothing on the market but the dregs of the gas fields. Anything of value has already been contracted by the major oil and gas companies. We were going after those fields that are uneconomical to develop. The IID admitted it had no infrastructure to bring the gas from Colorado to Imperial. This is an addition to all unknown costs that the rate-payers would have had to absorb.