PSE will do and say anything to get its boondoggle Energize Eastside (“EE”) project past the scrutiny of what appear to be naive and ill-informed consultants charged with the current Environment Impact Studies (“EIS”) for EE. CSEE hopes through pubic comment to expose PSE’s deceitful acts regarding EE in order to counter notions that PSE is somehow owed special deference by and unlimited access to those consultants. Several emails produced by the City of Bellevue to CSEE under public records requests indicate the relationship between PSE, the City of Bellevue and the EIS consultants is far too cozy.
To download CSEE’s submission of its comments on the botched EIS process up until now and the inadequate Phase 2 draft EIS, click here.
To summarize those comments, here are the Four Big Energize Eastside Lies that PSE has gotten away with so far — but should no more:
1. EE is based on a failed ColumbiaGrid flow study that included exaggerated, false NERC criteria. Yet PSE used those studies despite their failures (the studies could not “solve” to a working solution) by having a pliant consulting firm, Quanta, use them for inputs in load flow studies in order to justify EE. The phony data far exceeded the federal reliability requirements as adopted from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).
The core rationale for EE is based on a fairy tale. See the full CSEE submission for details.
2. PSE has misrepresented its desire and efforts to seek a much superior alternative route with Seattle City Light, using SCL’s existing Eastside lines. Though PSE spokespersons told the public early on that the SCL Eastside lines were its “first choice” for EE and they tried to obtain permission from SCL to utilize that route, the truth is otherwise. It turns out PSE never made a formal request for those lines. FERC Order 888 sets out mandatory guidelines on how that process works; if SCL were to refuse to cooperate, FERC would have the right to put SCL out of business by denying it access to any other FERC-regulated lines in the grid.
Despite how easy it was for CSEE to uncover the truth about this common-sense SCL alternative to EE, the writers of the Phase 2 draft EIS appear to have bought hook, line and sinker the PSE’s lies about how hard they supposedly worked to get cooperation from SCL, and how supposedly insurmountable such a task would be. It is not, as former PSE VP for Power Planning, Richard Lauckhart, explains in the full CSEE submission. In fact, he says, the SCL lines alternative could be built much faster, safer and cheaper than the bloated EE that PSE would prefer to see built.
We hope the EIS consultants do a better job and do their own homework on this SCL lines alternative rather than simply rely on whatever PSE tells them.
3. PSE has mounted an aggressive PR campaign, similar in kind and credibility to a political campaign, in order to mislead the public into thinking EE will fulfill a need to meet future Eastside growth that PSE claims is 10 times that of booming Seattle.
That absurd falsehood is readily rebutted by SCL’s Sephir Hamilton, Engineering and Technology Innovation Officer, who in 2014 laid out these facts, starting at 0:52 into the video:
“In the last four years nationwide, per-customer energy use has declined by 2%, both residential and non-residential. Here in Seattle it’s declined 2.7% for non-residential, and it has declined 7.6% per customer for residential energy use. Even with all the growth that you see here in Seattle and south Lake Union, we’re projecting total load growth of less than a half of a percent over the next five years. This is a huge change in the entire makeup of energy use industry in the United States, and especially here in Seattle where we’re leading the way.”
4. PSE repeatedly and falsely advertises the lie that EE is needed as a “long overdue Eastside grid upgrade” despite several expansions of the Eastside grid in the past two decades. We have already discussed this false advertising campaign in depth in a recent post here. The full CSEE submission on the Phase 2 draft EIS includes this discussion in Section 4 of that document.
UPDATE: It is becoming increasingly apparent from several emails produced by the City of Bellevue pursuant to public records requests that PSE has too much influence and control over the entire EIS process. The Bellevue City Council is either negligently ignorant of or complicit in allowing PSE to get away with its lies unchecked. The City of Bellevue can no longer be trusted to act as the Lead Agency for the EIS review and should be replaced by a neutral, competent party. See CSEE’s supplemental comments on the Phase 2 Draft EIS here, submitted on May 23, 2017.
Public comment on the Phase 2 Draft EIS is now being taken from May 8 through June 21, 2017. You can make your comments by email to info@EnergizeEastsideEIS.org. To have your comment made part of the official record, you must include your name and physical mailing address. For more information, go to http://www.energizeeastsideeis.org/participate.html.