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Commissioner Ken Collins rebuts the WA Policy Brief that pans Jefferson PUD.

Jefferson County PUD Commissioner Ken Collins rebuts the WA Policy Brief that pans Jefferson PUD.

Recently, the Washington Policy Center, an affiliate of the State Policy Network, funded by the Koch Brothers, came out with an “policy brief” claiming that the acquisition of the electric utility by Jefferson PUD has resulted in higher rates and lower customer service.  The clear purpose underlying this publication is to discourage other communities from voting for local control of their electrical utility.  While the Washington Policy Center purports to be “objective”, it consistently takes right-of-center positions on minimum wage, paid parental leave, the Affordable Care Act and public transportation.  Although the policy brief contains some factual reporting, for the most part, it takes information out of context and makes statements that are easily verifiable as false.  At no point did the WPC writer contact JPUD or its Commissioners to obtain clarification on any issues or policies, nor were there any references to the JPUD website, which one would expect from an objective inquiry.  Examples of bias, inaccuracies and incomplete information are easily identifiable in the WPC “analysis” of rates, customer satisfaction, billing/audit issues, low income assistance, local employment and in the lack of consideration of environmental impact.  >> Read More >>

News from Clearing Up, a utility industry publication:

Microsoft should receive payment from PSE for between $15.4 million and $35.2 million… Read more… And, in last issue…Microsoft Negotiating PSE Exit, Wants to Buy Own Renewable Energy. Read more…

Poster_Sept14Greener Power:  The Environmental Protection Agency states that carbon emissions from fossil-fuel-generated electricity is one of the nation’s top contributors to climate change. We currently have no say in the type of power that fills our grid, the majority of which comes from fossil fuels, 35% from the Colstrip Montana plant (one of the top ten CO2 polluters in the U.S.) A locally grown and owned utility would allow us to buy power from the Bonneville Power Administration and other clean energy sources.

Benefits Local Economy: A locally owned utility would create jobs at wages that support families.  A significant portion of the utility’s operating costs would also be spent here – on office rent, salaries and local services — growing our local economy and tax base.  Transition to a not-for-profit utility model and local ownership of our local electric facilities makes economic sense.

Local Control: Currently, Bainbridge gets it’s electricity from PSE, which is owned by a foreign corporation, based in Sidney, Australia. The company’s board meetings are not open to the public. A Bainbridge Island not-for-profit utility would be responsive to local concerns, fully focused on timely resolution of Island outages, and motivated to work with BI citizens to promote development of renewable, solar and energy efficiency resources on the island.

Our Goal:
To get a yes vote on a November 2017 ballot measure to give the City of Bainbridge Island the authority to establish a nonprofit electric utility. A yes vote would not instantly establish an electric utility. If the City decides to move ahead, there will be plenty of opportunity for public input (local control) to shape a local not-for-profit electric utility.

Oh, and this website is CARBON NEUTRAL :-)