Bainbridge utility campaign topic of Port Townsend lunch

PORT TOWNSEND — Co-founders of a movement to give the city of Bainbridge Island the authority to establish a nonprofit electric utility will speak at Jefferson County Energy Lunch on Thursday.

Jane Lindley and Steve Johnson, co-founders of Island Power in the city of Bainbridge, will speak on “Assessing Local Energy Values: The Bainbridge Public Power Campaign” at 12:30 p.m. at the Port Townsend Yacht Club, 2503 Washington St.

They are campaigning for a measure that will be on the Bainbridge ballot in November.

“As was the case in Jefferson County in 2008, they are facing vigorous opposition from the current electric utility, Puget Sound Energy,” said Rick Van Auken, programming coordinator for Jefferson County Energy LLC.

In 2008, voters granted the Jefferson County Public Utility District — which already provided water and sewer service — the authority to offer electrical service to East Jefferson County residents.

The vote severed a relationship with PSE that spanned about 100 years.

The power switch was made in March 2013.

“Regular attendees of the Jefferson County Energy Lunch Program will understand that a broad energy transition is currently underway and public control of the local power grid is a big deal,” Van Auken said.

“Hearing the details of their current experience will convincingly demonstrate both the immense value of the power utility franchise and the vast opportunity attached to local control of the energy transition now underway,” he added.

Citizens for Local Power campaigned for the Jefferson County change during 2007 and 2008. With a budget of about $28,000, their campaign defeated PSE, which spent $250,000 in opposition, Van Auken said.

“In becoming the eighth new public power utility in the Pacific Northwest, Jefferson County Public Utility District represented our local desire for clean power, low rates, better service, and local jobs,” Van Auken said.

“Yet, the primary reason for the change from private to public power was — and is — local control over our energy future.”

Van Auken said that the presentation will cover such factors as the amount of fossil fuel used to create PSE electricity, the reliability and service provided by local public power, expected rate advantages of public power and expected economic and job benefits.

Participants in Energy Lunches, which are held the third Thursday of the month, are invited to bring their lunches and arrive at noon to join an informal conversation with local energy professionals. Programs are followed by question-and-answer sessions that typically wrap up at about 1:30 p.m. A workshop and panel discussion usually follows from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, see http://l2020.org/energy-lunch-programs/

More in News

Jefferson County masking mandate expected to end June 30

State requirements for unvaccinated residents to mask believed to continue

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Volunteers bore holes and prepare the site on Friday for the beginning of a community build of the Generation II Dream Playground, scheduled to begin on Tuesday, at Erickson Playfield in Port Angeles.
Community build begins Tuesday

Volunteers to create Dream Playground II

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
The site of a proposed 106-room hotel being planned by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe near the downtown Port Angeles waterfront sits idle on Friday as the tribe works with the city on infrastructure and environmental issues.
More delay for Elwha Hotel

Hurdles mount for $25 million project

Pictured, from left to right, are Cindy Thomas, Nancy King, Sarah Abbitt and Tabby Whitaker.
Jim’s Pharmacy names charity of the month

Pictured, from left to right, are Cindy Thomas, Nancy King, Sarah Abbitt… Continue reading

Lyn Muench, grant writer for the Dungeness River Audubon Center’s “Inspire Wonder” capital campaign, shows Rep. Steve Tharinger details of River Center construction. Photo by Margi Palmer
Tharinger tours river center expansion project

Project expected to be completed in fall

US Highway 101 work starting Monday

Maintenance crews from the Department of Transportation will repair pavement… Continue reading

Bentinck range operations scheduled

The Royal Canadian Navy has announced that the land-based… Continue reading

Weekly flight operations scheduled

There will be field carrier landing practice operations for aircraft… Continue reading

Most Read