Monthly Archives: August 2014

PSE not answering your questions? Let the Utilities Commission know.

We got this timely email from Eastside resident Keith Collins about what you can do when PSE stonewalls or blows smoke on the questions you have asked them about Energize Eastside:

“Greetings neighbors.  Many of us eastsiders are truly energized about PSE’s plan to stick us with a rate increase to build huge transmission lines through our beautiful Eastside neighborhoods for grid reinforcement and power wheeling profits.  For those of you who have been learning about what the true energize eastside project entails, you may have not yet received adequate answers to questions you’ve asked PSE on their energize eastside web site.  If you’ve been stonewalled like a number of us have then it’s time to escalate!   This gentleman would like to hear from you if you have already posted questions to PSE that have not been answered adequately or in a timely manner.  Roger Kouchi with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission is ready for you to send your unanswered questions to him at:  rkouchi@utc.wa.gov   Please make sure you indicate when you sent/posted your questions and please include any follow-up PSE may have provided that you deem inadequate.  You can also submit your complaints online at:  http://www.utc.wa.gov/consumers/Pages/ConsumerComplaints.aspx …or by email at: consumer@utc.wa.gov …or by calling: 1-888-333-9882”

I am sending the WUTC copies of two emails I sent PSE over a month ago that still await replies.

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Eastside Citizens Present Their Opposition to “Energize Eastside” to Newcastle Council

In two half-hour presentations to the Newcastle City Council, the first from the Olympus Homeowners Association on July 1 and the second from CENSE (www.cense.org) on July 15, residents who packed the council chambers voiced their strong opposition to PSE’s proposed “Energize Eastside” project. The Newcastle News covered both events in an article in its latest edition at http://www.newcastle-news.com/2014/07/31/energize-eastside-concerns-shared.

From the article:

“Keith Hargis, president of the Olympus Homeowners Association, detailed his community’s concerns, while more than 50 neighbors sat in the audience of the council chambers July 1.

“Hargis highlighted health, safety, easement, pipeline and aesthetic concerns with the proposed installation of 230 kilovolt transmission lines along Route M, which goes through Newcastle, and more specifically, the Olympus neighborhood.

“Along the same corridor sits a gas pipeline that supplies jet fuel to SeaTac Airport, and neighbors are worried that construction along it could lead to a disastrous accident, Hargis said.

“He mentioned the 1999 Bellingham pipeline explosion that caused about $45 million in property damages and killed three people.

“’I think for us that are living along that corridor, we’re very concerned with anything that could happen that’s even close to this kind of magnitude of an event,’ he said.”

* * *

“O’Donnell and Marsh [from CENSE] challenged PSE’s projections that electricity demand is growing at an annual rate of 2 percent. Marsh said that demand has actually been flat or declining, both on the Eastside and nationally, for at least the past six years, even with population growth.

“He added that a Bellevue study anticipates a rate of growth that is less than half of PSE’s projections.

“O’Donnell said he acknowledged the need for PSE to provide reliable power, but argued, ‘there are better ways to do it than industrially blight our neighborhoods.’”