Editorial overestimates community support | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

Your Review editorial on June 3 assumes that the 10 percent of islanders who are currently paying extra to PSE for green power are in favor of the city of Bainbridge taking over and running a power utility. This is false. I am one of those paying extra for green power, but I am totally against a city-run utility.

Aside from the tremendous cost of acquiring all of the PSE infrastructure on the island, the city has zero expertise in running an electric utility. The learning curve is bound to be steep and will never be as efficient as PSE. In the event of a major storm and power outage we would be at the end of the line for importing out of area restoration help. Those extra power restoration workers are going to go to PSE before the head to our tiny utility.

PSE already has plans to phase out the most polluting coal plants, too many years in the future, but still planned closings. This is more the result of market forces like cheaper natural gas and the cost of handling burnt out coal tailings. Yes, wind and solar power are the best choice, but the best and most immediate way to mitigate global warming would be to replace all coal utility plants with natural gas.

Bad enough that we wasted $100,000 on a study, but don’t let the city government run something it knows nothing about.

GARY PETTERSEN

Bainbridge Island

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