Citing an unclear rule making procedure, loss of local control and the desire for a legislative answer to carbon emissions, the Grays Harbor PUD Board of Commissioners have passed a resolution opposing Initiative 1631. The initiative, which will appear on the November ballot, would attach a fee to carbon emissions if approved by a simple majority of Washington voters.
“We recognize that carbon emissions have a damaging impact on our environment and take pride in our environmental leadership through the PUD’s reliance on emission free hydro-electric and nuclear power,” said Commission President Arie Callaghan. “However, this initiative paints an unclear picture of our future. It wrests local control away from public utilities and places it in the hands of an appointed board without any assurance of utility input. That goes against the the core principal of a PUD.”
“We want to work with the environmental community to find a solution to carbon emissions, but the best solution would come through a joint effort with the Washington State legislature, not an initiative that was written without input from all the parties involved,” said Commission Vice President Russ Skolrood.
“While there are some positive points to a fee on carbon emissions, there are too many unknowns in I-1631 for the utility to support it,” said Commission Secretary Dave Timmons. “Let legislators work with utilities, industries and the environmental community in 2019 to come up with a solution to carbon emissions that the entire state can rally behind and continue Washington’s positive role in environmentally friendly energy production.”