Clallam PUD opposes carbon fee initiative

Clallam County Public Utility District commissioners have resolved to oppose a state ballot measure that would slap a fee on large carbon polluters.

District commissioners voted 3-0 Monday to approve a resolution against Initiative 1631, saying the measure would result in increased costs, decreased local control and compound regulatory requirements “all without an actual reduction in carbon emissions for our state’s energy sector.” …

Officials with Franklin County Public Utility District, which is smaller than Clallam County PUD, have estimated that total cost of Initiative-1631 would be $700,000 to $1 million per year.

“If Franklin’s number is right, a $1 million [increase] for us would be a 2 percent rate increase, approximately,” Clallam County PUD General Manager Doug Nass said. …

Clallam County PUD gets 88 percent of its electricity from hydropower through the Bonneville Power Administration and 10 percent from nuclear power, Nass said. …

PUD Commissioner Will Purser said most small utilities would need to hire staff or consultants to recover carbon pollution fees from the Public Oversight Board.

He added that I-1631 could be “pancaked” with other regulatory requirements like the Energy Independence Act, the voter-approved 2006 initiative that required local utilities to provide more and more energy from non-hydro, renewable sources. …

Nass said the initiative is “almost incentive to not reduce the carbon” because its continues to generate revenue.

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