October 10, 2012
Proposition 1 Public Power Initiative -
Why I will vote "YES"
While I grew up in Kentucky and went to college in Florida and was aware of Public Electric Utilities there, I just did not know the distinction about our Proposition 1 here.
After listening to one of the longest Public Hearings I have ever witnessed by the Yelm City Council on Tuesday, September 25th about Proposition 1, I left more confused than ever on the initiative.
I expected the Yelm City Council to properly "vet-out" this proposal with parties from both sides. However, this denigrated into the council indulging PSE to the point of even being told by the PSE rep there is "no more mercury in a CFL light bulb than in a can of tuna", when asked about about PSE's Yelm CFL bulb give-away (Then why is a CFL bulb labelled "hazardous waste", a question the council never asked).
Clearly, the reps of the almighty monopoly corporation (PSE) were doing all they could to muddy the waters in the "court of public opinion."
My, oh my, where have we seen City of Yelm officials confronted by this previously, where a large corporation woos the Yelm City Council over and above the public's interests?
Council members got all confused on comparing PSE vs. PUD power, saying they did not have enough information, when a publicly authorized assessment has not even been voted.
Yet, Yelm's Public Hearing was about Prop. 1 and this comparison is NOT what Prop 1 is all about.
Yelm Council officials missed the point.
The comparison and analysis would come later if Prop. 1 passes!
I took note of that as fact!
Why YES on Prop 1
Fortunately, I was contacted by John D. Pearce, Chair of the Thurston Public Power Initiative (Proposition 1) and after meeting with him, I got an education and complete clarity to share here:
In my meeting with Mr. Pearce yesterday, he made these points:
- The ballot states:
"Shall Public Utility District No. ____ of _____County construct or acquire electric facilities for the generation or distribution of electric power?"
- Upon approval by the voters on November 6, Thurston County Proposition 1 simply authorizes the Public Utility District (PUD) to provide electric service to Thurston County.
The approval ONLY authorizes elected officials to consider a PUD as one option to supply electrical power.
-The PUD will then:
1. Research and complete a feasibility study to determine where and if public power will be of benefit to the people of the Thurston County (i.e. Yelm City Council to decide for Yelm).
2. Based on being provided information from the studies, local government representatives (City Councils, County Commissioners) will then choose the option best suited to serve their constituents and negotiate with the chosen provider and reach an agreement on a franchise (permission and rights) to provide electricity.
3. Depending on the condition of the existing PSE infrastructure, either purchase theirs or construct new (and very likely underground) infrastructure.
All this will be paid for with revenue bonds which are backed by the electric revenues to be collected. There is no additional debt to the residents. Your current electric bill includes payment for PSE debt, so it would be like switching from renting to buying the system because public power systems are owned by the residents.
4. The public will have ample opportunities to weigh-in at PUD meetings and city or county Public Hearings.
PROPOSITION 1 DOES NOT AUTHORIZE A DECISION FOR PUBLIC OR PSE POWER SUPPLY NOW - PROP 1 ONLY AUTHORIZES THE PUD AS AN OPTION TO BE PRESENTED TO GOVERNMENT DECIDERS FOR POWER SUPPLY, RATHER THAN CONTINUALLY AUTHORIZING A MULTINATIONAL CORPORATION'S POWER MONOPOLY, PSE!
THAT IS WHY I AM VOTING YES,
SO OUR REPRESENTATIVES HAVE AN OPTION TO LOOK AT AN ALTERNATIVE POWER SUPPLIER!
ISN'T THAT IS IN THE PUBLIC'S INTEREST?
Pearce says this best:
"Voting “Yes” on Thurston County Proposition 1 is the only way you will ever have a choice of who supplies your electricity. It starts the process of self-determination and gives us the option to get out from under PSE’s monopoly.
Isn’t it better to have a choice?"
Click here for Mr. Pearce's response to Gov. Gregoire on Oct. 9th.