Transcript of the February 10, 2010 Council meeting approval of the Sixth Power Plan; see also the 2-minute YouTube video.
[Bruce] Measure: Let’s reconvene and consider the potential adoption of the Council’s Sixth Power Plan. Terry and John.
[Terry] Morlan: Okay, there’s one change that was worked on a little bit yesterday at the end of the meeting that we wanted to show everyone. It’s in the overview in the fish and wildlife section; it’s on the screen. It is really just making things a little bit more correct; the blue and red changes are what they are. I think that’s been shopped with most of the Council Members so I don’t think there is any discussion, but if there is, this would be a good time, or any other questions they might have about the plan before we move ahead.
Measure: Yes, and what I had in mind was maybe moving the plan first and then going into that discussion arena, John, unless you had something first.
[John] Shurts: No, this is the only thing I had was some language changes and I’m done.
Measure: So you feel that requires the wording with changes as adopted as presented by staff at today’s meeting?
Shurts: Yes, the motion is in front of you.
Measure: So absent any preparatory comments, would you want to make the motion?
Wallace: Thank you Mr. Chair. It is my distinct honor to move that the Council adopt the Sixth Pacific Northwest Conservation and Electric Power Plan as presented by staff and recommended by the Power Committee with changes adopted by the members at this meeting; direct the staff to prepare the supporting appendices and a Response to Comments for Council review and approval; direct the staff to make the necessary editorial changes to the plan with review by an editorial review committee named by the Chair to assure that all such changes are truly editorial; and direct the staff to give appropriate notice of this action.
[Melinda] Eden: I’ll second that motion.
Measure: Did you have some further comments, any questions or comments from the members?
Eden: Mr. Chair.
Measure: Member Eden.
Eden: Thank you, Mr. Chair. It is always a big day when the Council considers adoption of a power plan or a fish and wildlife program, and regardless of the outcome of the vote, this is a big day and I thank you for the opportunity to say a couple of things. This is my list of thank you, with a little history. The creation of this power plan began in June of 2007 when Terry Morlan, the power division director, gathered the power staff members of the state and the central offices to identify potential issues in the sixth plan. The Council developed a list of issues, including concerns for climate change, new types of resources and technological improvements and released an issue paper in December of 2007. The Sixth Power Plan which is before you today addresses these issues and others identified by the region. I want to thank the Council Members for their hard work on this plan. This is an excellent plan. It provides the region a path for the future that expands its portfolio of electricity resources and encourages technological innovation for generations to come. Thank you to the Power Committee for its service and attention to this plan and that includes the state energy staffers who have worked very hard on this. This is a highly technical document full of analysis. It is not always easy for policy makers to slog through such technical information, but you were patient and careful in your consideration of the issues that this plan reflects. I appreciate each of the many discussions we’ve had and your comments and questions over the past two years.
Thank you to Terry Morlan and his staff in the power planning division. You have produced analytical work of which we are all proud. I am grateful to each of you for your hard work, your dedication and your technical abilities. Terry, your leadership has been inspirational as are your patients and ability to explain difficult material to policy makers, and I’ve been privileged to work with you closely these last two years as power chair. I would especially like to acknowledge the work of Gillian Charles. She cracked the whip and herded the cats, and kept both Council Members and staff on track. I appreciate her dedication in keeping the moving parts of this plan all pointed in the same direction. She did a great job.
Thank you to John Shurts and the legal division for keeping us on the straight and narrow and out of trouble so far.
Thank you to Mark Walker and his public affairs staff for the work they have already done on this plan and the herculean task they are about to undertake to prepare this huge document.
Thanks to Steve Crow for his oversight of the entire operation; to Judi Hertz for giving the power committee the big meeting room for many months so that the public could attend and participate in our deliberations.
And thanks, too, to Kendra Coles and Denise Bennett for their able assistance in cranking out and distributing the many comments and draft documents involved in arriving at a final destination.
The region deserves our thanks as well. The region’s utilities participated in the creation of this plan as never before. Public interest groups offered adjustments at every phase of the plan’s creation. The plan is better for the input from each of these entities and from each of you Council Members. The well-attended public hearings demonstrate how important this plan is to the region and to its citizens. Thank you to the 769 individuals and entities who took the time and made the effort to comment on this plan.
The plan illuminates a clear path and the region is anxious to take steps along that path. And thank you, Mr. Chair.
Measure: Thank you Member Eden. Member Karier.
[Tom] Karier: Thank you Mr. Chairman. This past summer I was reading an article about the challenging energy situation in the United States, and the article talked about all the issues of carbon, petroleum imports, rising prices, scarcity, pollution, but there is one great potential resource and it was conservation. But unfortunately it was a forgotten resource. It needed to be developed at a local and regional level, because conservation in the Southwest is different than in the Northeast, and different in the Midwest, and unfortunately nobody was keeping track of that resource except in the Northwest, where we have the Northwest Power and Conservation Council which does that exact function and finds and identifies those great resources. And we’ve been doing that for a long, long time.
The Northwest has a great energy heritage. We enjoy some of the lowest power rates in the country; we have for a long time based on our hydropower system. And equally important we have one of the cleanest power systems in the United States. And to have both of those characteristics is unprecedented. It is clean, it is low emissions and low carbon to begin with. And that is as much because of the hydropower system, but it has also been enhanced by our great investments in conservation over the years which the Council has championed throughout this period and the remarkable development of wind power in the last few years. If you were to Mapquest the Northwest energy future, you’d find the Sixth Power Plan. It really is that good; it is bold, it’s smart, it’s a path to preserve and expand the great Northwest energy heritage that we’ve inherited. Member Eden left out one thank you. I think she covered the range there and we’re indebted to everyone that she mentioned, but her own contribution has been immeasurable to this as chair of the Power Committee. She kept things on track and organized and she described this as a very complicated, challenging work and it is, and she kept right on track of it and moved this through and helped everyone who made these contributions come to fruition. As well as our colleagues on the Power Committee and the Council, there has been some great work done. So thank you, Chair Eden, and thanks to the Council.
Measure: Thanks, Member Karier. Member Yost, did you have something.
[Jim] Yost: Mr. Chairman, I can sum up the experience with one word and it addresses all of the participants and the process and it’s “Swell. It was just swell.”
Measure: Member Wallace.
[Dick] Wallace: Thank you Mr. Chair and I’ll just echo the thanks and the good words of the previous speakers. The other thing I’d like to mention is that we’ve really significantly advanced and set our future direction on integration of fish and wildlife and power, and I think that’s great. The other thing that in this day and age is fantastic is that the staff has estimated that energy efficiency alone will create 47,000 new jobs. So this is a great way to look for our energy future and help with creating some of those jobs. Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Measure: Thanks, Member Wallace. And I’d like to reiterate the praise and congratulations to staff and members of the Power Committee. Member Eden, you did a wonderful job of carrying us through this process and I thought you were very equitable in your treatment of all of the members of the Power Committee. It was a difficult time between the disparate types of writing styles, the new nomenclature that we had to learn in virtually every aspect of the power plan. It was a very difficult process; it never was easy. I also want to congratulate Jim Yost and thank him very much for his attempts to bring all the disparate issues and interests to the fore in a very difficult fashion. It was not easy to advocate some of the positions that he took, but we’ve come out with a better power plan as a result of that. And it forced us all to work together very clearly and I appreciate that quite a bit. I want to thank Dick Wallace who sat in on numerous power planning sessions. Webinars are not the most interesting thing in the world and to sit there for six hours when it’s not your primary purpose and then contribute your opinions individually, I thought was heroic. And I want to thank you for that as well. And all the members of the Council, thank you very much.
[Rhonda] Whiting: I’d like to say ditto to what Jim Yost said.
Measure: Okay, ditto the swells. If there’s nothing else, we have the motion, it has been seconded.
Unanimous roll call vote approval.