BPA Responds to Rejection
by Brian Gawley
PORT ANGELES -- Public utilities that rejected a recently proposed settlement of their lawsuit against the Bonneville Power Administration should be prepared to offer a viable alternative, the public power agency's administrator says.
Public utilities such as Clallam County Public Utility District No. 1 have sued Bonneville over power rate subsidies provided to investor-owned utilities such as Puget Sound Energy, which serves Jefferson County.
Clallam PUD commissioners rejected a proposed settlement of the lawsuit last month, saying it pushed costs into the future and reduced their rights to challenge future Bonneville rate increases.
Clallam PUD was the second public utility to reject the settlement, following Snohomish County PUD.
Bonneville Administrator Stephen J. Wright sent Clallam PUD and the 71 other public utilities involved in the suit a letter challenging them to do better.
``If near-term rate reduction is a critical priority, I believe this settlement is the best choice for our customers and the region,'' Wright wrote.
``Likewise, the settlement moves us toward long-term cost stability and clarity about BPA's future role.
``I urge those who do not support the settlement to define the viable alternative that provides low-cost, reliable, environmentally safe power without breaking existing contractual obligations or pushing costs into the future.''
The rest of the story appears in the Tuesday Peninsula Daily News.
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