Amendment to Senate measure affirms ‘green credentials’ of Washington’s
top power source
In an unexpected turn of events Friday, Senate Bill 5840 was amended to include hydropower as part of Washington’s green energy portfolio. Opposition to the change cite Initiative 937, which excluded hydropower as a green, renewable energy source.
Reps. Joel Kretz and Shelly Short supported the bill as amended and are pleased some of their Democrat colleagues supported the House Republican proposal and voted in favor of the amendment adding Washington’s top power source to the list of "green" energy sources.
"We enjoy fairly inexpensive energy in our state, compared to locations that do not have the innovative approach to generating power through water," said Kretz, R-Wauconda. "It’s a victory for our state to show the nation that not only are we looking for new and clean energy sources, but we are ahead of the pack when it comes to low-carbon energy generation."
"This is a huge win for our state, our energy producers, our rate payers, and future job creation," said Short, R-Addy. "This is going to help keep utility rates down at a time when hard-working families need every penny of savings they can get. This also places our renewable energy goals for the next decade within reasonable reach."
Initiative 937, passed by voters in 2006, imposed new restrictions on Washington’s utilities in an effort to reach targets of specifically selected energy types. Using a series of incremental steps, Initiative 937 would require that 15 percent of Washington’s energy meet its definition of “renewable” by 2020. Hydropower was not included in the initiative’s definition of an "eligible renewable resource."
However, Senate Bill 5840, as amended by the House, would require hydropower be included in the list of eligible renewable resources alongside wind and solar.
The bill will now be sent back to the Senate for concurrence with the amendment.
# # #
For more information, contact: Bobbi Cussins, Public Information Officer: (360) 786-7252