Comparison is Invalidby Ruth Deery
Longview, WA, The Daily News, July 6, 2005
In his op-ed column June 26, Cowlitz PUD Commissioner John Searing compares the cost of voter-approved levies for education with the expected increase in electric bills resulting from Judge James Redden's decision concerning spills for salmon runs. This makes about as much sense as comparing, say, the rising cost of gasoline with the rising cost of enforcing anti-drug legislation.
Maybe, just maybe, he is correct in his conclusion that the spill would harm, not help, salmon runs. But until I hear the evidence upon which Judge Redden based his decision, I remain unconvinced.
Compare the $60 to $70 million which Searing says will be the cost of spilling young salmon over the dam with the current expense of barging salmon around the dams, alleged to be about $300 million.
It is indeed his job, as he states, to keep electric rates as low as possible. But it also is his job to do so responsibly. Is it responsible to use money from ratepayers to pay the $1,527.45 tab for the PUD ad in the June 26 paper? This use of ratepayer funds to sway public opinion seems unethical and may also be illegal.
The four federal agencies whose agreement Searing cites are not the only agencies involved. Are these other agencies the unnamed "special Interests" to which he alludes? Are not the supporters of his position also "special interests"? Which of these "special interests" base their conclusions on science, and which on politics?
Cowlitz PUD Joins Spat Over Salmon vs. Power by Courtney Sherwood, The Daily News, 6/30/5
BPA's Deep Discount to Industry Will Raise Public Rate by Associated Press, The Daily News, 7/6/5
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