I would like to congratulate all my fellow volunteers who collected signatures for the clean energy initiative (I-937). I am excited that our efforts mean we have more than enough signatures to be on the November ballot. Wherever I went to collect signatures, I ran into people who support the idea of utilities like Snohomish PUD investing in clean and renewable energy. The initiative would require the PUD to generate 15 percent of its electricity from new renewable energy by 2020.
In Washington we are fortunate because the majority of our electricity comes from hydropower, but we’re getting about all we can from that source. As utilities make choices for the future, they can invest in clean energy sources or choose dirty fossil fuel sources, such as coal. Clean air for the future is reason enough to support the initiative. Herald readers of the July 7 article might conclude that utilities will have to give up hydropower and buy more expensive power if the initiative passes, but that’s not true. The initiative actually encourages utilities to upgrade their current hydro facilities to be more efficient and that is counted in the future goals.
Since the 1930s, hydropower has been the backbone of our power supply and will continue to be. But as we move into the future, we must commit to meeting our growing needs with renewable energy.