Locals urge better solutions than Energize Eastside

November 7, 2014

By Contributor

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Eastside residents have concerns about PSE’s Energize Eastside project, which will run 18 miles of high-voltage power lines through five Eastside cities.

The 130-foot towers will be up to three times taller than the current transmission poles, creating panoramic visual blight throughout our beautiful region.

PSE is running an expensive public relations campaign as they pursue an aggressive timeline for EE. A final route is to be selected in December, less than a month away.

Many Eastside residents are concerned that PSE is overstating the need and urgency for EE and has eliminated every other energy solution from public consideration. In response, we created the Coalition of Eastside Neighborhoods for Sensible Energy (CENSE.org) to educate elected officials and the public.

CENSE’s research has found:

Energy use in the PSE service area has been shrinking since 2008, following a national trend. The EE website implies that energy demand grows at the same rate as population and economic growth. However, this relationship no longer holds true due to new technologies and advances in energy efficiency. For example, in the past three years, household electricity use fell, even as Americans bought nearly a billion more electronic devices.

PSE’s energy demand forecasts are almost twice as high as those of utilities serving other northwest cities with similar rates of population and economic growth as the Eastside. Demand forecasts for Seattle, Snohomish, Spokane and Portland (Oregon) are all less than those projected by PSE. See chart and documentation at cense.org/future.

PSE dismissed energy solutions that other cities are using to manage their peak loads such as grid batteries, peak load generators and demand-response programs. Most cost less than EE’s $200 million price tag, are less vulnerable to wind storms, natural disasters or terrorism and are better for our environment, health and safety.

The Eastside is a high-tech, highly educated, environmentally progressive community surrounded by beauty. This is why it is rated as one of the most livable regions in the nation.

Please join CENSE in urging your elected officials to address the concerns about EE before allowing PSE to scar our cities for generations to come. If you want your children and grandchildren to inherit the beautiful cities we love, email your City Council today. Say no to Energize Eastside and yes to energy solutions that are appropriate for the 21st century.

Jan Medley, a retired editor and graphic designer, lives in Bellevue. She is a member of CENSE, an all-volunteer coalition of Eastside residents concerned about many aspects of the Energize Eastside project. Learn more at www.CENSE.org.

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