Tuesday, July 16, 2019

U.S. Energy Secretary: Easing Energy Efficiency Standards Is 'Common Sense' (Politico, Morning Energy)

(WASHINGTON, DC) – The U.S. Department of Energy will publish in the Federal Register today its approval of a petition from CEI to create a new class of shorter cycle, less efficient dishwashers — marking the latest in a series of rollbacks that aim to weaken rules on light bulbs, furnaces and other appliances, Pro's Eric Wolff reports.

The moves are sure to be challenged in court by advocacy groups, which argue DOE is violating is obligations under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. But Energy Secretary Rick Perry told reporters it comes down to common sense, not just statute.

"From time to time a statute gets written with a really good intention but reality does not follow that intention," he said last week. "That's why we're looking at these rules and regulations from a common-sense approach, we're looking to get the best result we can."

Perry's philosophy can be seen in a series of DOE rulemakings. The agency last week also proposed a rule in response to a petition from natural gas suppliers and utilities to allow a class of less efficient natural gas furnaces. In February the agency proposed to withdraw an Obama-era rule that would ease efficiency rules on half the light bulb market.

But the moves face criticism on the Hill, where Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), who chairs the E&C Energy Subcommittee, told POLITICO: "To me, there is a real divergence between his definition of common sense and my definition of common sense."

Monday, July 15, 2019

Northwest Requirements Utilities Names New Chief Executive Officer (Northwest Requirements Utilities, Portland, OR)

(PORTLAND, OR) -- The Northwest Requirements Utilities (NRU) Board of Directors announced today that John Francisco has been selected as the next NRU Chief Executive Officer, effective September 1st.

“John comes to NRU with 25 years’ experience in Northwest public power leadership roles and is ideally positioned to take over the helm at NRU at this most critical time for our membership,” said Roger Kline, President of the Board. “John brings great passion, energy, and expertise to our organization. We are excited to have him as our CEO.”

Francisco has most recently served as Regional Vice President for National Rural Utilities Cooperative Financial Corporation (NRUCFC). Before NRUCFC, Francisco worked at Inland Power and Light for 23 years in several managerial roles, including Chief of Energy Resources from 2013 to 2018 and Energy Services Manager from 2010 to 2013. John has a BA in Business Administration from Eastern Washington University and is a licensed CPA.

NRU is a non-profit trade association, founded in 2002, and represents the interests of 53 load following utility customers of the Bonneville Power Administration.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Clark Public Utilities Ranked Highest by J.D. Power for 12th Year (Northwest Public Power Association)

(VANCOUVER, WA) -- For the 12th consecutive year, J.D. Power recognized Clark Public Utilities for ranking highest in customer satisfaction among midsize electricity providers in the Western United States.

The J.D. Power study measures customer satisfaction with electric utilities by examining six key factors: power quality and reliability; price; billing and payment; corporate citizenship; communications; and customer service. In all of these categories, customers gave Clark Public Utilities the highest score in the West midsize segment.

“The J.D. Power survey has become a valuable annual benchmark for our board to see how customers view all areas of utility operation year to year,” said Nancy Barnes, president of the Clark Public Utilities Board of Commissioners. “Clark Public Utilities became eligible for the study 12 years ago and we’ve ranked highest in our segment ever since, which I view as a testament to the consistency of our excellent staff and a true commitment to exceeding customer expectations.”

J.D. Power designs and finances the study, a standardized measure of satisfaction available for the electric residential utility industry. More than 103,000 residential electric utility customers throughout the U.S. responded online to the study. Based on these responses, the study compared 142 electric utility brands, collectively serving over 101 million households.

“Having spent my career managing utility research, I’ve seen the way customer satisfaction studies can affirm the right approaches and redirect work in areas where there’s room for improvement,” said Lena Wittler, CEO and general manager of Clark Public Utilities. “What we learn from the J.D. Power survey, which is conducted with incredible rigor and precision, helps us identify opportunities to meet our customers’ needs in ways that are cost-effective and meaningful. We’re always working to do better.”

The West region covers Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Midsize utilities in the report serve between 100,000 and 499,999 residential customers.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Randle Residents Voice Opposition to Proposed Crystal Geyser Water Plant (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(RANDLE, WA) -- Many Randle residents were at Monday’s Lewis County Commissioners meeting to voice their opposition to the proposed Crystal Geyser water bottling plant on Peters Road in Randle. One was Craig Jasmer, who said Crystal Geyser has not yet submitted any applications with Lewis County, but they have submitted a water rights permit application with the Washington Department of Ecology. He said Ecology says approval of that permit is contingent upon Lewis County’s approval. Those speaking to the Commissioners urged them to recommend denial of the water rights permit to the Department of Ecology.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Public Power Council Selects Scott Simms as New Executive Director (Public Power Council, Portland, OR)

(PORTLAND, OR) -- The Executive Committee of the Public Power Council (PPC) announced today that Scott Simms has been selected as Executive Director, effective August 12. Simms will be the ninth Executive Director in the 53-year history of PPC.

“We are fortunate to have Scott as the next leader of PPC, an organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the benefits of the Federal Columbia River Power System for consumer-owned utilities and their ratepayers,” said Debra Smith, PPC Executive Committee Chairwoman, and CEO and General Manager of Seattle City Light. “PPC is critical to ensuring that consumer-owned utilities can continue to deliver reliable, affordable, and carbon-free power to thousands of businesses and millions of residents every day,” said Smith.

“Scott has two decades of experience working in various capacities on Northwest power issues and will bring his expertise and enthusiasm to this new position” said Chairwoman Smith. “With Scott at the helm, we look forward to building on PPC’s successes as public power continues to conquer the challenges and seize the opportunities of the next decade.”

Simms is currently the Communications Director at the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). In that role, he has touched nearly every part of the agency’s internal and external operations. Simms leveraged his expertise to promote a robust communications program and create collaborative relationships with customers and stakeholders. His time at BPA has resulted in successes such as the nationally-recognized “Hydropower Flows Here” campaign. Simms also held other leadership positions within BPA, including Manager of Long-Term Power Planning and Secretary to the U.S. Entity for the Columbia River Treaty negotiation process. Prior to joining BPA in 2006, Simms held senior communications positions at Portland General Electric.

“It’s an honor to be selected by Northwest public power leaders to serve as PPC’s Executive Director,” said Simms. “I was born here in the Northwest and I have spent my whole life and career here, so supporting the region’s public power interests in this capacity is a tremendous opportunity.”

“Public power is the backbone of both rural and urban parts of the Northwest economy, and it also provides far-reaching benefits to our region’s people and environment,” Simms said. “We have a lot of work and challenges ahead of us, but also incredible opportunities – and PPC members have a long-standing track record of accomplishing large tasks when they tackle them as a collective.”

A Northwest native, Simms hails from Snoqualmie, Washington. He studied Public Relations and Political Science at Washington State University in Pullman, graduating with distinction. Simms lives with his wife and daughter in Portland.

“I am humbled to work alongside PPC’s dedicated members, visionary Executive Committee, and talented staff in service to Northwest public power,” said Simms.

PPC ran a rigorous selection process. “I want to thank all the candidates who expressed interest in leading PPC,” said Annette Creekpaum, Vice Chair of PPC’s Administration and Budget Committee, and General Manager of Mason County PUD No. 3. “The strong level of interest we received from top-notch candidates is a testament to the vital role PPC plays in the region,” said Creekpaum. “I want to also thank the members of PPC’s Administration and Budget Committee for their diligence during the selection process and their commitment to ensuring that PPC remains a passionate, devoted and powerful advocate for public power.”

About the Public Power Council

The Public Power Council, established in 1966, is an association that represents over 100 consumer-owned electric utilities in the Pacific Northwest. PPC’s mission is to preserve and protect the benefits of the Federal Columbia River Power System for consumer-owned utilities. PPC is a key forum to identify, discuss and build consensus around energy and utility issues. For more information, please visit us on the web at www.ppcpdx.org.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Utilities Ask Congress to Set Nationwide Rules for Clean Energy (Daily on Energy, Washington Examiner)


(PHILADELPHIA, PA) -- Some of the nation’s largest electric utilities are calling on Congress to provide uniform rules for clean energy to help them meet self-established goals for reducing carbon emissions.

Utility leaders warn that a patchwork of differing policies across states would complicate their clean energy plans and are asking the federal government to pass either a carbon tax or a clean electricity mandate to provide certainty.

“The most efficient thing long-term is for this country at the federal level to come to grips with the situation and allow for markets to be designed that will advance what our customers want,” Chris Crane, the CEO of Exelon, told Josh in an interview at the industry’s annual convention hosted by the Edison Electric Institute in Philadelphia.

Dominion joins the push too: Exelon, along with Virginia-based utility Dominion Energy, recently joined the CEO Climate Dialogue, a new coalition of businesses and environmental groups formed to asked Congress for legislation that would put a price on carbon across the U.S. economy to achieve at least an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050.

“Our preference is for a straightforward policy coming from Congress that will be long-lasting that we can react to, plan for, deal with, and educate our customers on,” said Dominion CEO Thomas Farrell.

Monday, June 3, 2019

2019 Mason County Forest Festival Car Show & Rubber Duck Race

2019 Mason County Forest Festival
Winner of the 2019 Kristmas Town Kiwanis Duck Race

Kayla Navarro

2019 Mason County Forest Festival
Car Show Off Winners

20’s or Earlier
Jack Bailey, Shelton

Jeanne and Bill Birny, Olympia

Bob and Jill Jordan, Shelton

Ron Howard, Shelton

Glen Bale, Poulsbo

Blaine Maples, Shelton

Barent Hoffman, Bellevue

Post 80’s
Sebastian Gutierrez, Shelton

Ford - Before 1980
Dan Stotsenberg, Aberdeen

Ford - 1980 or Newer
Cindy Murray, Olympia

Chevrolet - Before 1960
Steve Herron, Poulsbo

Chevrolet - 1960 to 1979
Mike Shattock, Tumwater

Chevrolet - 1980 and Newer
Kevin Ward, Shelton

All Other General Motors - Before 1980
Judy Slining, Grapeview

All Other General Motors - 1980 and Newer
Shirley Heidemann, Tacoma

Chrysler, Plymouth, or Dodge
Mike Hudnell, Shelton

Orphan - Manufacturer is Out of Business
Bob and Jill Jordan, Shelton

Import - European Manufacturer
Greg Smith, Shelton

Import - Other than European
Jenn Ogno, Shelton

Jim Buck, Shelton

Mark Zamzow, Shelton

Barry Pettyjohn, Shelton

Truck - Before 1980
Mike Shattock, Tumwater

Truck - 1980 or Newer
Kevin Ward, Shelton

Hot Rod
Stan Thompson, Puyallup

Rat Rod
Jim Buck, Shelton

Muscle Car
Mike and Karen Martin, Brinnon

Detailed Engine
Dean and Donnie Burton, Olympia

DOC, Lacey

Lyle Haller, Puyallup 

Edwin Zillyet, Montesano

William Ells, Shelton

Ron Wilkes, Elma

Forest Festival Court Choice
Tom James, Tumwater

NJROTC Cadet Choice

Robin/Marvin Barker, Shelton