Open Letter to Snohomish County Public Utilities Commissioners
February 25, 2013
Dear Snohomish County Public Utility Commissioners:
The 32nd Legislative District Democrats, with boundaries that include portions of SW Snohomish county, including parts of Edmonds, Lynnwood, un incorporated Lynnwood, unincorporated Snohomish County and Mountlake Terrace, also represents many of your ratepayers. The 32nd District Democrats voted overwhelmingly against supporting your proposed Skykomish River/Sunset Falls “Small Hydro” project.
While we fully acknowledge your fiduciary obligations for the wise stewardship of the ratepayer’s funds and for long range planning of the load requirements of the SnoPUD rate base, we respectfully ask that you reconsider your decision to proceed with building this hydro project. SNOPUD is known nationwide as the most progressive public utility in the country and we honor that record.
The citizens of the state of Washington were very clear in 2006 when I-937 was adopted by a 52-48 percent margin that they wanted to encourage the development of new sources of renewable energy such as tidal and geothermal and wind. Such alternative sources of energy count as part of the eligible renewable resources suitable for meeting targets contained in the initiative.
You are well aware that fresh water generation of new electricity load is not eligible in meeting the required targets. While I – 937 does not prohibit the development of new fresh water generation, the voters preferred other sources of renewable energy to be developed by the utilities.
We endorse the actions of other advocates of free flowing rivers, including The Sierra Club, American Rivers, American Whitewater, Hydropower Reform Coalition, North Cascades Conservation Council, Mountaineers, Washington Wilderness Coalition and many others in opposing this project. We ask that you reconsider your inclination to build another fresh water power generation project and instead invest in better renewable energy projects that align with the preferences of the voters in I-937.
MOTION: “THAT THE 32ND LD Democrats strenuously reject the Snohomish County PUD’s Skykomish River “small hydro project” and support the Wild Washington Rivers organization’s effort to stop this ill-advised project, that we inform the Snohomish County PUD Commission of our position; and that our Executive Board consider a donation to Wild Washington Rivers in order to uphold the principles of Initiative 937.
Please make our organization parties of record and inform us of any upcoming meetings or decisions on this or related projects.
Carin Chase, Chair
32nd District Democrats