The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Bob Havig
White Salmon 

Time for a change

 


It is time for a change at the Klickitat PUD Board of Commissioners. Current Commissioners have taken on very large amounts of debt (now at $130 million) in pursuit of risky generation projects. A substantial amount of this debt was funneled into the landfill gas project in Roosevelt (beset by cost overruns) that is now losing money. These losses are brought about by low wholesale prices for electricity and a high debt load on this project. As a result, the PUD is raising electric rates to cover the losses. The current commissioner says these are “circumstances beyond our control.” Sound business practices take into consideration unforeseen events, especially when risking ratepayer’s money. Klickitat PUD residential rates are higher than any PUD in the state. Since 2001, residential rates have risen 85 percent with more increases planned for 2017.

PUD Commissioners are now in pursuit of yet another risky generation project called the pumped storage project. This project actually loses energy and is predicated on gambling with time-of-day wholesale rates to be profitable. The PUD has spent more than one million dollars of ratepayer’s money pursuing this project and is currently paying a consultant to move this project forward.

I am supporting Doug Miller for PUD Commissioner. Doug is a 30-year retired PUD employee and has a great deal of knowledge in PUD operations. I have known Doug for over 30 years and worked alongside of him at the PUD for most of those 30 years. He has unquestioned honesty and integrity. Doug will bring common sense to the Board to control costs and will oppose risky projects such as the pumped storage project. Doug will be a breath of fresh air to a Board set in its ways to pursue risky generation projects.

 

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