PORT ANGELES: Gov. Locke addresses area business leaders

PORT ANGELES — Sounding at times like a salesman for energy-efficient appliances, Gov. Gary Locke made a pitch for power and water conservation during a visit Monday.

Locke addressed the state’s drought and Boeing’s plan to move its headquarters during a half-hour speech at the Red Lion Hotel.

He also answered questions on issues ranging from transportation problems to his prescription drug plan, which has been opposed by pharmacists.

During an interview, Locke responded to recent criticism of his leadership, saying he is being unfairly attacked for the state’s recent troubles.

“I’m being blamed for everything,” he said. “I’m being blamed for the drought, the energy crisis.”

The power crunch extends beyond Washington’s borders, Locke said. He touted steps he has taken to improve the situation, like approving temporary rollbacks of pollution requirements to allow more generation by utilities that agree to increase pollution controls later.

This full report appears in today’s editions of the Peninsula Daily News, on sale throughout Clallam and Jefferson counties. Or click on “Subscribe” at left to order your copy via U.S. mail.

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