In the May 24 Seattle Times, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) CEO Kimberly Harris wrote a commentary, “Balanced approach to energy production,” to which I would like to respond here. Ms. Harris’ comments reflect 20 years with PSE and her current position as chair of the American Gas Association. Her institutional bias for fracked gas is evident. She recommends more gas, by building the liquid natural gas (LNG) facility in Tacoma, despite her gas service nearly failing in 2009 because the compressors that keep gas flowing in the pipes freeze up when it’s cold.
Renewable energy does not freeze, is now much more affordable than gas and doesn’t kill a million species by cooking the planet. If Harris cared about the community, she would direct PSE to stop the carbon pollution that threatens our health, our children’s future and leaves the planet uninhabitable for our grandchildren.
Harris also claims, without justification, that “natural gas is crucial if the electric grid is to remain stable.” Ms. Harris needs to focus more time on renewable energy solutions, like in Kodiak Island, which now runs its grid on wind and hydro. Renewable energy doesn’t need fossil fuels. The grid works fine without them.
It’s time to stop listening to PSE greenwashing and move rapidly to renewable energy. In November, PSE will post its newest 20-year Integrated Resource Plan on pse-irp.participate.online, followed by a public hearing. Please attend. Customers just like you will be there. Not one of them is likely to ask PSE to keep spewing carbon pollution because not one of them asked for this at the PSE “listening session” last week. Kimberly Harris either didn’t listen or doesn’t care. It’s time she starts doing both.
— Kevin Jones