The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Published: Thursday, July 26, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
County PUD


Can't let agency waste more funds

Finally! It has taken The Herald several weeks to highlight the failure of the Snohomish Public Utility District's project to tap geothermal power in the Cascade range. (Monday article, "Geothermal energy project a bust after drilling hits bedrock.") The PUD apparently made a decision to abandon the project during spring 2012. Those wasted funds are in excess of $3.4 million.
More studies and analyses could have shown that the project was too risky for an organization like the PUD. Even the state of Washington is not willing to take such costly risks.
The PUD senior staff and the elected Board of Commissioners have led the organization to waste funds on projects with significant risk. Over the last few years, the PUD has wasted funds on projects which are not appropriately studied and planned.
The next costly PUD project that will suffer the same fate is probably the Tidal Project in the Admiralty Inlet -- the main entrance to Puget Sound between Whidbey Island and the Olympic Peninsula. This project calls for the installation of several turbines below the surface of the water, which would generate electricity for about 1,000 homes.
There has been no positive information or news published to the PUD customer-owners. It may be that the project has already been abandoned. Perhaps the public will get information by fall 2012.
Enough is enough. This only touches the surface of wasted funds by the PUD. Now is the time to make some changes in leadership (or the lack of it) at the PUD. We the customer-owners of the utility would be better served by professionals who have the intellectual capacity to conduct studies, analyses, planning, to develop less costly and risky projects.
Perhaps we can start by supporting either Mr. David Swanson or Mr. Eric Teagarden, both candidates for PUD Commissioner. One of them should replace the incumbent who has been in office for almost 18 years. Immediate changes should start at the top. Other changes should follow.
Ignacio Castro, Jr.
Edmonds
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Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

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Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to letters@heraldnet.com, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at cmacpherson@heraldnet.com or 425-339-3472.