Opposition Grows, CENSE (Coalition of Eastside Neighborhoods for Sensible Energy) Formed

Citizens from all 5 cities opposed to PSE’s proposed “Energize Eastside” project have banded together to form CENSE (Coalition of Eastside Neighborhoods for Sensible Energy). Their newly launched web site, CENSE.org, describes this diverse group as follows:

“We are not an anonymous group with a hidden agenda. Our members are your friends and neighbors, all volunteers, with no source of funding (we may ask for donations to fund legal efforts soon). Most of us don’t have any prior knowledge about electricity transmission or the grid. Fortunately, we have a technical task force that includes a system planner who worked for PSE for 25 years, and Seattle City Light and Tacoma Power for 5 years each.”

CENSE has organized into various task forces to get their message out and to make sure the 5 cities and other governmental entities charged with permitting PSE’s proposed project have complete and trustworthy facts and enough time to evaluate them. Among the questions they pose at their new website:

1. Is this project, which will cost Eastside residents a quarter of a billion dollars, really necessary?
2. Are 13-story poles running over our homes and through our neighborhoods the only viable solution?
3. Can citizens play a role in making these decisions? Or is our future at the mercy of a privately owned monopoly?

Their website “will attempt to answer these questions using common sense, industry expertise, and information extracted from thousands of pages of PSE’s own documents.”

Welcome and good luck!

Be sure to also check out www.lakecorridor.org, created by citizens living along Lake Washington in what PSE has designated as the L segment. These people sued PSE, King County and the Port of Seattle, alleging that several of the easements PSE might use for “Energize Eastside” are invalid for that purpose. Those easements are limited to surface use only (railroads used these for trains), but they do not extend to the air above or the land below (spaces needed for overhead lines and the big concrete foundations to hold them). In addition, these easements are included in the federal “Trails for Rails” program, and by law these trails need to be readily convertible back to rail use if the decision is made to do that. Not too easy to do with giant poles, lines and concrete foundations in the way.

Looks like PSE paid $13.3 million for easements that won’t do them any good. How competent is this outfit? Just one more indication that PSE’s two currently promoted routes are awful options, especially when compared to a number of alternative routes PSE eliminated without public input that make much more sense. They need to go back to the drawing board.

Stay tuned for more on that.

 

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