Letter: Haler should stop trying to undermine people's will on alternative energy

February 24, 2013 

State Rep. Larry Haler is sponsoring a bill to recognize hydroelectricity as a renewable. That may seem logical.

But it's an embarrassing effort to undermine Initiative 937, the 2007 Washington State Energy Independence Act.

We, through "the people's" initiative process, voted to require 15 percent of a utility's energy mix be renewable -- creating a market for renewable sources -- even if it costs more. The Mid-Colombia gets about 10 percent of its power from coal. We have a moral obligation to future generations to move away from fossil fuels.

Our own University of Washington and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory climate scientists have shown us our snow pack is shrinking. That will surely impact hydro at some point. Must we wait until lower flows become a problem before we develop new clean energy sources?

Haler is doing the bidding of some Tri-City leaders who talk out both sides of their mouths. They tout the Mid-Columbia Energy Initiative, trying to recruit "businesses and jobs that promote solutions to current and future energy challenges" while simultaneously undermining the market for them!

I urge Haler and those leaders to reconsider their position. It is an embarrassment to we the people who supported I-937 hoping for a brighter future.

GINGER BAIRD WIREMAN, Richland

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