Talking Points: PSE 2019
Public Comments on Puget Sound Energy’s 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP)
August 28, 2018, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Meydenbauer Center, Rooms 407 and 408, 11100 NE 6th St, Bellevue
What to expect
This is not a regulatory hearing, although utility commission staff may be present. You are commenting directly to Puget Sound Energy.
5:45pm, Sign up for comments.
6:00 – 7:20pm, This presentation by PSE staff on the IRP process, load forecasts, planning standards, and electric resource costs.
7:20pm, Comments taken in order from the sign-in sheet. Comments may be limited to 2 minutes, depending on how many there are.
New to public commenting? Here are some tips:
Be concise. Two minutes isn’t as long as you think. Speak slowly and clearly. You’ll get your point across better that way. Introduce yourself. PSE staff will want you to state your name. A word or two about where you’re from and why you care enough to comment also helps make a stronger impression.
Here is the number one point we want to get across:
- PSE’S 2019 IRP PLAN MUST BE A BLUEPRINT FOR A CARBON-FREE GRID WITHIN 20 YEARS
King County, Bainbridge, Bellingham, Olympia and other local governments have passed climate plans and resolutions calling for clean electricity. These governments represent a majority of the customers in PSE’s service territory. PSE is now on the path to delivering clean electricity to Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks, REI, King County, Metro Transit and a dozen other businesses and local governments. Clean electricity is not just for the rich and powerful.
Here are six more points worth making — but don’t try to include them all, pick the one that suits you best. If you have different point you want to make, try to connect it to #1.
- PSE MUST FINALLY STOP PROPPING UP THE DIRTY AND DANGEROUS COLSTRIP PLANT BY 2025
For seven years, businesses, governments and thousands of customers have been calling for the end of coal power. The utility commission has signaled strong concern about continued investment in this dirty and dangerous plant. Now the plant is undergoing its third forced outage in the past nine years, and still the problems causing toxic air emissions have not been fixed or figured out. Yet PSE is spending $53 million – in addition to the current closure problem – on new capital expenses over the next three years on this aging and unreliable plant. Enough is enough. Heed the call of local governments, business and customers: No more coal by 2025.
- PSE MUST BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF FRACKED GAS
The vast majority of gas for PSE’s gas and electric utilities come from fracked gas, which causes serious air, water and land contamination. All gas leaks methane from the well-head to the end use. Leaked methane is 87 times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide. Assuming a conservative 3 percent leakage rate, gas is as bad as coal. PSE must provide a complete accounting of the environmental and climate impacts of all its gas use, including Tacoma LNG and future gas plants.
- PSE MUST STOP CONSTRUCTION OF ITS LNG FACILITY IN TACOMA
PSE continues to construct its LNG facility in Tacoma even though it lacks the necessary air permits to operate the facility and despite the Puyallup Tribe’s multi-year opposition to the project. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is requiring a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement explicitly to review the upstream emissions from leaking methane. PSE’s primary claim of environmental benefit from this facility is the reduced particulate matter from diesel fuel used in ships. The recent wildfires in the Northwest – exacerbated by global warming – have caused this same Air Agency to issue air quality warnings due to particulates from the smoke from the wildfires. The real and more urgent air quality threat are wildfires, not diesel fuel. Worse yet, this LNG facility will create more infrastructure that will enable continued and expanded use of fracked gas.
- PSE SHOULD NOT BUILD ITS “ENERGIZE EASTSIDE” TRANSMISSION LINE
The “Energize Eastside” project invests $300 million in a transmission line that will not advance community goals of reliable, clean, affordable energy. PSE engineers tell us the project will not improve reliability metrics for any neighborhood or the “system as a whole.” It is not needed to increase transmission capacity for renewable energy. It destroys thousands of valuable urban trees and raises risks of catastrophic fires due to its proximity to 50-year-old petroleum pipelines. Furthermore, the substantial cost will divert resources from building a more resilient and reliable smart grid, enabled by more demand response, electrical efficiency, energy storage, and distributed generation. A modern grid that incorporates renewable energy sources is essential to the vitality of our communities, our economy, and the environment.
- PSE MUST USE THE SOCIAL COST OF CARBON IN ITS 20-YEAR PLAN
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission has directed PSE to use the federal Social Cost of Carbon (approximately $42/ton). This standard is not a planning “scenario.” It needs to be the minimum carbon price for any final recommended plan. This $42/ton also is not reflective of the true cost of carbon impacts because the “discount rate” used by the federal standard does not sufficiently capture long-term impacts that will devastate future generations. PSE needs to run additional carbon scenarios up to $100/ton. PSE needs to use these carbon prices on upstream emissions of gas using the 3 percent leakage rate and the 87 times Global Warming Potential for methane.
- PSE MUST FINALLY DISCLOSE THE DATA USED TO PRODUCE ITS FINAL PLAN
For seven years, environmentalists and community groups have been asking for PSE data files. Utilities across the country provide this information to parties willing to sign non-disclosure agreements. Dozens of utilities are now providing this data to Sierra Club, utility commissions, and other stakeholders. Even PSE’s current and past owners of Macquarie and the British Columbia investment firms – which own another utility in Louisiana, Cleco Power – have signed non-disclosure agreements and released the data files. PSE has no more excuses for hiding the ball – provide the data.
If posting about PSE’s 20-year plan or the planning process on social media, please include the hashtag #2019IRP.
For coverage of PSE’s Integrated Resource Plan on Twitter, follow @PSEreporter: https://twitter.com/psereporter