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Shelton Mason County Journal
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March 13, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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March 13, 2014

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ONE ISSUE, TWO SIDES Thursday, March 13, 2014 - Mason County Journal - Page A-7 No easy ansv,.00rs in renewable energy debate grew up watching "The Jetsons" and dream- ing of a future that would involve flying cars, push button conveniences and robots that made life easier in every way. Energy is needed to do just about anything. From transportation to making a cup of coffee; without power it is going to be a very long process. We have a lot of choices; however some are going to be more expensive than others. A lot of this has to do with what it takes to retrieve the energy or how consistent the source is at providing it. This is where the J freedom to choose is an important one. How you derive your power is going to drive the cost. Renew- able energy is the way to go since it is a source that can be used again and again. But not all are cre- ated equal and we must be understanding of the true costs and not just the bottom line after subsi- dies have been applied. Hydro power is not only a consistent source of power, it is also re- newable and affordable. Recently, BMW located a carbon fiber plant in Moses Lake to take ad- vantage of the inexpen- sive hydro power. They brought with them jobs and a boon to the local economy. The truth of the matter is, businesses want to have consistency in the market and they want to know their costs so they can competitively price their product. When costs go up, so do con- sumer prices and risk of job loss. In Washington state we passed Initiative 937 that stated that by 2016, 9 percent of our power must be derived from re- newable resources and 15 percent by the year 2020. The initiative sounded like a responsible idea, until you read the list of exclusions and the penalties for being out of compliance. Many of our inexpensive hydroelectric power sources do not count and we are being forced to accept more ex- pensive and often govern- ment subsidized alterna- tives. We must remember that a government sub- sidy is in essence only a portion of our own money being gifted back to us by our government, with strings attached that often have hidden costs associated with them. With the wording of I=937 eliminating choice and driving up costs, we are all in for a rude awakening. Our fragile economy is about to take a big hit. When you think of our power costs going up, don't limit it to a 15 percent increase. Know that the percentage that it could go up may be much higher. It is the cost of the 15 percent that we must think about and the effects it will have across the board in every resi- dence and business. So what is the answer? Choice. Allow all hydroelec- tric power to be considered renewable. Retrofit the power turbines to be more effective and fish-friendly. The technology is there and it can be used to get Washington state working again, encourage business to locate here while saving the citizens' money and producing healthy competi- tion and options. Dinah Griffey is a member of the Mason County Republicans e have all seen he reports n national TV about the extreme weather in other parts of the world and the melt- ing of polar ice caps. We in the Northwest have been spared the worst of the catastrophes to befall other parts of the U.S., but we have seen chang- es in our weather too -- unseasonably warm winters, either no rain or way too much rain, and snow. We cannot afford to pretend climate change is not happening. It is incumbent upon all of us to take actions that will reverse the warming  of the oceans and reduce the greenhouse gases that are destroying the ozone layer that protects Earth. "If we're going to avoid climate catastrophe, we need global cooperation. America is showing that we can cut emissions and create jobs through clean energy and fuel economy. "As we've seen in my home state of Mas- sachusetts, investing in clean energy technology and infrastructure that can withstand the new climate reality will cre- ate American jobs and keep us competitive in the global clean energy race. We need that same kind of leadership on a global scale. "America must act to avoid climatic catas- trophe and severe eco- nomic damage. We must continue to work with other countries especially China to reduce carbon emissions. Our future, our children's future and the future of our planet depend on what we do to address climate change." Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass) "A key driver of re- newable energy growth in the United States has been state-level Renewable Electric- ity Standards (RESs), which require utilities to supply increasing amounts of electricity from renewable sources. Thirty states and the District of Columbia now have enforceable RESs or similar laws. These states are responsible for nearly 80 percent of total U.S. renewable energy. Tax incentives -- including the existing Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the Invest- ment Tax Credit (ITC) -- also play a key role in deploying renewable electricity generation, providing a policy bridge that is helping the re- newable energy industry survive in an environ- ment where the benefits of low- and zero-carbon emissions are not prop- erly valued by the mar- ket. These two policies have been a major driver of renewable energy de- velopment over the past several years by giving individuals, businesses, and utilities incentives to invest in renewable energy generation," ac- cording to the Natural Resources Committee. All electric utilities in Washington state are required by the Energy Independence Act (Ini- tiative 937) to obtain specific amounts of their power from designated sources such as wind, biomass, tidal, solar, and cogeneration. To bring this down to a local level: Mason PUD 3 has met these obligations by obtaining energy from the Nine Canyon Wind farm, near Tri-Cities and the purchase of renew- able energy credits. Nine- ty-seven percent of Mason County PUD 3's fuel mix is from noncarbon emit- ting resources. Eighty- seven percent of PUD 3's power comes from hydro- electric sources with only 3 percent of the remain- ing coming from fossil fuels, (i.e., coal and natu- ral gas). The remaining 10 percent is generated from renewable sources such as wind, nuclear and solar. seeT& pageA-8 'BEGINNING isoo) CHURCH 426-2907 SERVICE SUNDAY 11AM 2521 State Route 108, Sheltan, WA (2 miles West of 101) Business office: 5961 E. SR 3, Shelton, WA 98584