Tuesday, October 9, 2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: John Pearce, Chair@ThurstonPublicPower.org
Olympia, WA—The Thurston Public Power Initiative is calling on Governor Chris Gregoire to take a second look at Thurston County Proposition 1, the public power initiative.
“We’re perplexed.” stated Initiative Chair John Pearce. “We respect her concern for State Government. So why is she against saving millions of dollars for taxpayers?”
On Monday, October 08, political consultants for Puget Sound Energy released a statement from Washington Governor Christine Gregoire where she stated her opposition to Thurston County Proposition 1. This measure will be on November’s ballot. If passed by voters it would allow Thurston Public Utility District (PUD) to enter the electric utility business.
Proposition 1 does not mandate any particular use of that authority. However, Thurston PUD recently released a report on three possible options for using cheap federal power to provide limited service in Thurston County. One option called for providing service to the Olympia core area, including the Capital Campus.
“Thurston PUD’s study shows that they could provide service to the State and save over a million dollars per year. The Governor’s statement makes no mention of this. Did she read the report? We know the Governor is busy, so we wonder if she’s studied both sides of this issue. We are asking Governor Gregoire if she’d be willing to take a second look before drawing conclusions.”
The Governor’s statement mentions last January’s sever winter storm. “We agree that power crews face difficult and dangerous situations. We applaud their commitment and dedication wherever they work across the state, whether publicly or privately employed.” said Pearce. “The Governor is concerned about risk” he continued. “PUDs provide reliable power to almost a million customers in 23 counties. Proposition 1 makes no commitments, so there is no risk.”
The Governor says that PSE has “has helped to facilitate the transition away from coal.”
Pearce responds: “Again we are perplexed. PSE generates over half their power from coal, and they announced last July that they’ve signing a long-term commitment for even more coal-fired electricity. How is this moving away from coal?”
Pearce concludes: “A “Yes” vote for Thurston County Proposition 1 opens the possibility that Puget Sound Energy will finally have a Thurston County competitor, bringing us fair rates, local control, reliable service, sustainable and renewable energy sources. We will at last join the 55% of Washington and the rest of southwest Washington with public power and a new energy future.”