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Natural gas planning bill set to be on the November ballot – Ignorance about this bill wins out!

Supporters of Initiative 2066 gather on the Capitol steps on June 6.
Credit: Shauna Sowersby, McClatchy Newspapers.
  • Editor’s note: The hyper misinformation I have seen in Thurston County and elsewhere about House Bill 1589 has been truly over-the-top.
  • Many who signed the petition did not even read what they signed, just emotionally reacted in ignorance without knowledge.
  • This is a planning bill, does not include a rate increase, the word “ban” does not even appear in the bill, and does NOT force electrification.
  • This bill would move Washington’s clean climate goals forward while mitigating costs for consumers.

Natural gas debate to hit the ballot in November after collectors gather 500K signatures

Excerpt from McClatchy Newspapers, via yahoo!news:

More than 500,000 signatures were dropped off to the Washington Secretary of State’s office on Friday that would place a natural gas initiative on the November ballot.

I-2066 would do several things, but is mostly aimed at preventing a ban on natural gas and requiring utility companies and local governments to continue providing natural gas to Washington consumers. The initiative was in part introduced in response to House Bill 1589 that passed during the legislative session this year that puts mechanisms in place for utility companies to eventually transition away from natural gas.

The initiative is sponsored by the Building Industry Association of Washington as well as a host of other backers. Let’s Go Washington, which sponsored several other Republican-backed initiatives on the November ballot, also helped gather signatures for I-2066.

Leah Missik, acting Washington director for Climate Solutions, a regional clean energy nonprofit, argued that I-2066 would raise energy costs for consumers and that the bill passed this session was “painstakingly” negotiated with Puget Sound Energy, low-income advocates and environmental advocates to move Washington towards its clean climate goals while mitigating costs for consumers.

“It’s really about folks who are trying to squeeze out profit at our expense and our health,” Missik said of the initiative. “And it’s really important that we transition to cleaner and healthier energy — we’re on a path to do so —and that we’re very thoughtful about it. And this initiative would repeal policies that would put us on that pathway in a very smart way.”

PSE has also already chimed in on the debate.

On its website, PSE said that there has been a lot of “misinformation” surrounding HB 1589 since its introduction and passage. The company notes that the bill does not ban natural gas, nor does it affect PSE’s obligation to continue to supply natural gas to customers.

“There is no rate increase associated with HB 1589,” the statement said. “It’s a planning bill, and there will be three years of rulemaking and work before we submit an integrated system plan to our regulators. That will only be a plan— it will not include a request to increase rates.”

Additionally, the bill does not force electrification, PSE said.

Posted by Steve on July 6, 2024 at 12:01 am | Permalink

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