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Play it safe, support PUD
It’s way too risky to keep Puget Sound Energy around on Whidbey Island. The company is in such poor financial shape it has to sell itself to the Australian company Macquarie.
How could PSE, a corporate monopoly with guaranteed profits in the 10 percent range, manage to get itself into that situation in the first place? Could it be mismanagement similar to practices that have brought recent collapse to major corporations around the country? Two things are certain, PSE puts shareholders and corporate executives first, and electricity ratepayers will continue to pay. Once the sale is done and Macquarie takes over, they will have us (ratepayers) pay for the premium sales price. I doubt they really care how high the price is because they’ll be able to recoup costs by raising our electricity rates.
And now that the company is worried about the loss of Whidbey Island from their service territory, they’re spending a great deal of money to convince us to keep them here. Never mind the amount, we the ratepayers will cover all expenses.
There’s another potentially huge risk staying with PSE: The implications of NAFTA/GATS allowing foreign investor rights that trump our regulatory agency, the Utilities and Transportation Commission. That could translate to very large rate hikes for us.
PSE tells us it’s too risky to form a PUD here. I say it’s too risky to keep PSE on our island.