Letter: Northwest energy future is bright
Sunday, August 28, 2011
In his July 19 Business page column, “Science, not politics, should dictate energy solutions,” Don Brunell described a dismal future of scheduled rolling electricity blackouts that he attributed to poor planning, a reduced supply of affordable energy, and growing demand for power.
In fact, the four Northwest states have been involved in rigorous regional energy planning for three decades through the Northwest Power and Conservation Council under the authority of the Northwest Power Act, a federal law. As Washington members of the council, we know that this planning has led to electricity use efficiency by capturing the equivalent of the power demand of four cities the size of Seattle.
Over time, implementation of the Council’s Plan by the federal Bonneville Power Administration and its customers, including Clark Public Utilities, kept electricity affordable and reliable, met the growing demand for power, and encouraged the development of renewable resources.
According to the council’s current plan, cost-effective energy efficiency can meet 85 percent of the growth in demand for electricity through 2029. This efficiency can minimize investments in new power plants, lower bills for consumers, and reduce environmental costs.
Regional energy planning is assuring the Northwest adequate, efficient, reliable, and affordable electricity far into the future and is laying a foundation for repowering our economy, too.
Phil Rockefeller and Tom Karier
Olympia and Spokane