We are a group of concerned citizens in Avista’s Washington and Idaho service area. We are concerned that this sale will result in rising utility rates and the importation of energy policies we do not agree with.
We came together after the April 23 Utilities and Transportation Commission meeting in Spokane Valley to take citizen testimony. We are a collection of folks from the right side of the political spectrum. From Libertarian Republicans to the far right. There is one thing we do agree on — This is a bad deal.
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At the Spokane Valley UTC meeting, the testimony of citizens from the left agreed with the sale. They were impressed with the $30 million in rate relief over 5 years and the $11 Million in benefits to the low income. Put in proper context these benefits are inconsequential and could be done without HYDRO ONE. The proper context is Avista’a annual net income of around $120 Million, and the $50 million that Avista executives will receive in severance ( a new word for bribe? ) due to this sale. See the page titled BAD FAITH DEAL.
Also, the folks on the left seam to have heard that the Coal Strip coal fired plant was going to close two years early. That is not the plan. The agreement only says that the debt would be retired two years early due to tax law changes. They were so intent on saving us from CO2 that they did not read the clear statement.
Due to the policies of the Ontario Government, over the last 9 years the electric rates in Ontario have increased 3 times faster than in the United States as the result of their energy mentality. HYDRO ONE’s control of Avista will be the vehicle for importing the mentality of their major stock holder, the Province of Ontario. The now former Premier of Ontario has said exactly that. Here is the You Tube video of her statement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=527VJqu0PHI
The story of WWP’s sale of water companies in 1982 to Spokane Suburban Water Company, a French company, and consequently rapidly rising rates is a cautionary tale. The Utilities and Transportation Commission, UTC is supposed to regulate the natural monopoly utility companies to be sure that the rate payers get fair treatment. The UTC failed with this water company sale.