Background: On August 31st, the WA Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) held a hearing regarding Puget Sound Energy (General Rate Case), Dockets UE-170033 & UG-170034. It was standing room only. The Fire Marshall had to move people into the hallway to meet code. Erika from Climate Action Bainbridge and I didn’t get to speak until 8:30pm. Everyone from 6-8:30pm asked UTC to direct Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to stop using coal-generated electricity by 2025. So many eloquent speakers: Vashon Climate Action, League of Women Voters from Tacoma, Pierce and Thurston Counties, King County Council, Bellevue City Council,scientists, grad students, mayor of Olympia, 350.org from Seattle and Tacoma, Native American groups, Seattle city council, Redline Tacoma (now Redefine Tacoma), CENSE from the Eastside, and Sierra Club’s Seattle Chapter, to name a few. Over 20 pages of people signed up to speak, Erika and I were on page 6 and didn’t get to speak until 8:30pm. It’s a #revolution.
Everyone urged the commission to direct PSE to close units 3 & 4 of Colstrip and stop buying and selling coal-generated electricity by 2025. It was awe-inspiring.
Then on Sept 15th, the Sierra Club sent this email:
Today the Sierra Club, PSE, and other stakeholders in the rate case filed a settlement today with the UTC that moves up the depreciation date for Colstrip Units 3&4 to 2027 and provides $10 million dollars for transition for Colstrip, half of which comes straight out of shareholders’ pockets! The Commissioners still have to approve the settlement, but we have no reason to believe they won’t.
YOU DID THIS! Thanks to your tremendous work this summer calling PSE out for its dirty coal and gas secrets and packing rate case hearings, we just took a HUGE step towards retiring the 3rd largest source of carbon pollution in the ENTIRE United States.
The fight’s not over yet…we need to move PSE to 2025 and get a binding retirement deal. BUT WE’VE NEVER BEEN CLOSER!
Outstanding debt for Colstrip was the single biggest obstacle to retiring the plant by 2025. Not anymore!! Plus, PSE’s $10M towards transition sets a critical bar for the other owners to step up and do what’s right by the community.
I can’t tell you what an honor it is to work with each and every one of you. There have been some dark moments this year, but your passion and commitment are constant source of joy and light. THANK YOU!
Link >> to Sierra Club statement on settlement 9.15.17
Link >> LTR to PSE from House of Rep State of WA House of Representatives letter to PSE CEO Kimberly Harris asking PSE to retire the remaining two units (3&4) of Colstrip no later than 2025.