PSE’s Calling Energize Eastside a “System Upgrade” is Another Big Lie

PSE likes to play a semantic shell game of conflating “reliability” — coping with very rare peak usage in extreme events, such as early morning on an extremely cold day, where outages might last for just a few hours, occurring about every 5 to 10 years or never — with “updating the grid” to meet “increased demand,” even though overall electricity usage on the Eastside has gone down in the last 8 years. Here is a typical misleading ad from PSE, published in Eastside newspapers:

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The text in the yellow rectangle may appear fuzzy, so here it is: “New, independent research confirms the need to upgrade our electric grid now to meet growing demand. Without the Energize Eastside project, we risk longer and more severe outages. Learn more about how PSE is working with your community on a safe and reliable solution.”

That part about a “safe” solution is truly risible. Read this Planning Commision submittal from CSEE regarding PSE’s horrible gas pipeline safety record and the greed that drives the company to lie to the public in order to secure huge profits for its Australian and Canadian owners, without regard to the health and safety of its customers.

Energize Eastside is one big con job that must be stopped now!

PSE’s Fraudulent Energize Eastside Project Would Gut Newcastle, Bellevue

True to form, PSE for the past three years has never revealed that its proposed “Energize Eastside” project would require its buying and destroying whole swaths of homes in Newcastle and Bellevue. But finally, hidden in the hundreds of pages of the murky and deeply flawed Draft Environmental Impact Statement (which sidesteps all the safety issues!), we find these entries:

EIS chapter 10, page 20: For the first time the EIS makes it clear that PSE will need to purchase many houses adjacent to the existing right-of-way. Not only might some home owners need to vacate their homes and see them destroyed, but the neighbors who remain would be looking at a no-man’s wasteland like the one the Berlin Wall ran through:


Chapter 11 page 29: The EIS admits that there will be up to 20% home value depreciation for Newcastle. If you think you won’t be affected just because you don’t live along the path of these gigantic new steel towers built next to jet fuel under pressure that can flow downhill to the tune of thousands of gallons per minute, think again. Check out the devastation caused by the pipeline explosion in San Bruno, California, in 2010: Here is a photo of a home downhill of the massive fire that ensued that killed eight people:

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Here is a graphic of what we can expect if our city councils are crazy enough to permit this project:

Easement expansion online

Easement expansion online2

According to electrical engineer Brian Elworth who prepared this document, “it is based on PSE widening the corridor 75 feet on each side to provide bare minimum separation between the tower base and adjacent pipes (including the hazardous liquid pipeline). It only includes Olympus but much more of Newcastle would be impacted. PSE may elect to only widen one side but it would have to be very wide.”

The greedy Australians who own PSE don’t care, of course, about what may befall us (including 130′ steel towers that could fall on our houses and crush us, such as in an earthquake along the Seattle Fault line that insanely enough is right where these towers would be placed), because they don’t live here.

This project should be called “Pulverize Eastside“!

PSE Suffers Major Defeat in Appeal of Lake Hills-Phantom Lake Project Denial

“Energize Eastside” is not the only big-ticket boondoggle Puget Sound Energy has been pushing on the Eastside in pursuit of its Australian owners’ insatiable greed. For the past 10 years, this investor-owned and investment-driven “utility” has sought to add a “redundant” line along Southeast 16th Street, 148th Avenue Northeast and Northeast Eighth Street in Bellevue. This project with more overhead lines and wires would have required the removal of 300 trees older than Bellevue itself, further undermining Bellevue’s claim to be “a City in a Park.” (Energize Eastside, by contrast, would require the removal of 8,000 trees — a kind of “Agent Orange” result for the Eastside!).

Of course, ruining our environment is of no concern to PSE: for its foreign owners it is all about the bottom line. They don’t have to live here with the consequences.

When the East Bellevue Community Council (EBCC) decided unanimously in June of this year to deny PSE this ill-conceived and unnecessary Lake Hills-Phantom Lake Project by rejecting PSE’s conditional use and shoreline permit applications, PSE chose to ignore the will of the people and appealed EBCC’s decision to the King County Superior Court. On Friday, December 18, 2015, the judge dismissed PSE’s appeal on all counts, noting it was completely within the purview of EBCC’s power to reject the project as inconsistent with the city’s “Comprehensive Plan, its compatibility with the immediate vicinity and whether the proposed electrical utility facility would succeed in providing needed reliability.”

Kudos to EBCC for standing up to PSE and for the public good. PSE is so used to having sway over any regulatory body that is supposed to keep it in check that this court decision must have come as quite a shock. Let’s now see more of the same grit from our five city councils in denying the totally unjustifiable and fraudulently marketed Energize Eastside!

Inside Look into How PSE Fudged Technical Studies to Make Energize Eastside Look Necessary

Here is how we imagine the PSE board meeting went when they realized simulations of 2018 Eastside electricity reliability requirements revealed no need for the boondoggle Energize Eastside project that would earn their Austrialian owners a Washington State-guaranteed return of a half billion dollars:

Created by CSEE as satire, this cartoon nevertheless conjures a scenario that was no doubt not far from reality. PSE did in fact add irrelevant, invented power flow to Canada (1500 MW) and turned off a dozen peaker plants in Western Washington in its simulated “flow studies” to create phony, skewed results to justify the $200 million Energize Eastside project. It could become the biggest fraud ever perpetrated by a public utility on its ratepayers and on the public in general.

PSE’s “Preferred Choice” for “Energize Eastside” Could Kill People

Janis Medley, long-time Bellevue resident, says 16 of the 18 miles contemplated for PSE’s “Energize Eastside” project puts new 230kV transmission lines (four times the power transmitted in current 115kV lines) along with huge new steel towers, right in the same right-of-way and just slightly above the aging Olympic Pipeline Company’s gas pipelines that transport millions of gallons of jet fuel under high pressure daily. These old pipelines so close to the proposed new lines pose the same or even greater risk to life and property that led to the death of 3 boys in Bellingham in 1999, along with massive property damage from the enormous explosion and widespread fire caused by just one leak in the pipeline.

With several equal or better alternatives to “Energize Eastside” available without its life-threatening hazards, is it not the height of irresponsibility even to consider this insane project? In any situation, if there are two viable options A and B to do something, but A could possibly kill people while B wouldn’t, who in good conscience would ever choose A?

The problem with the Australian and Canadian owners of PSE is that as corporations they have neither a heart nor a conscience in their pursuit of maximizing profits regardless of the cost to us, even if that means killing us. They don’t care about what happens in Washington State because they don’t live here. But why do we have to put up with their sociopathic “Energize Eastside” project?

Remember, this is the same PSE that was punished with the biggest fine ever handed out by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission ($1.25 million) for intentionally falsifying gas pipeline safety inspection records for over four years! And they say now, “Trust us”?

We will use every legal avenue available to stop this inhumane project. Meantime, add your name in support of a King County PUD to rid ourselves once and for all of PSE by going to




CENSE: PSE’s Outlandish Assumptions to Justify Energize Eastside

According to CENSE’s research and experts, PSE’s own documents show there is no electricity reliability issue for the Eastside until 2024 at the earliest with the existing equipment in place. Once again, as CENSE’s Patricia Magnani explains in the following video, PSE resorts to misrepresentations and deceit to justify its determined hard sell of an unnecessary project, motivated by the shameless greed of PSE’s Australian and Canadian owners: