Letters: No laws were skirted in the building of Columbia Generating Station

July 17, 2013 

Regarding Mr. William Wolkenhauer's letter (June 24) commenting on my June 9 article about President Obama's policy of skirting the law: First, in answer to his statement that the president's lack of authority to terminate the Yucca Mountain Project has not yet been established, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals found on July 1, 2011, that the president and energy secretary did not have the authority to terminate the project according to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act.

Second, he suggested that I also skirted the law when I was CEO of the Washington Public Power Supply System to complete the construction of WNP-2 (Columbia Generating Station). Any comparison between what I did to legally change Washington State law to complete WNP-2 and the president's violation of the law to terminate Yucca Mountain is incorrect. To restructure the contracts in question, I made a formal request to the Washington State Legislature and testified before them with appropriate reasons to change the law, which gave me legal authority to hire Bechtel as a completion contractor and restructure the contracts with Burns and Roe and United Engineers and Constructors with the support of both company presidents.

BOB FERGUSON, Richland

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