Just enforce our laws
The article about locals fear deportation after arrest bothers me. Here is why.
There are immigrants that make the effort to come into this country legally. That is showing respect for the laws and the process of entering this country.
Illegal immigrants by entering the country illegally are showing a total disregard for our laws. By entering illegally they broke a federal law and by staying, sometimes for years, they are continuing to break the law.
here is a long standing federal law in place against hiring illegal immigrants, with hefty fines. Trump is just enforcing the federal immigration laws already in place like Bush and others have done in the past.
If you don’t like the laws work at getting them changed. In the future I expect he will start enforcing more federal laws that are being ignored.
Welcome PUD news
Great news — the poorly conceived, expensive, and managed PUD #2 power loop to Tokeland was terminated by our newly elected PUD majority commissioners, Mike Swanson and Dick Anderson.
PUD General Manager Miller made a painful two-hour presentation, with few relevant facts. There was no accounting of funds spent to date, and no solid estimate to complete … he basically said “just trust me.” The current chair of the commissioners, Diana Thompson, had several out of control outbursts showing her utter disdain for the ratepayers by shouting out “shut-up” or “leave.” In summary Miller’s and Thompson’s arguments were: “We are the smart ones in the room, shut up, sit down, listen, and don’t ask questions, and if this project is not continued many bad things will happen, sure … like all babies from now on will be born naked?” Miller’s presentation was unprofessional and incomplete. He had no compelling facts, just bamboozle speak.
I was pleased to be a part of those at the meeting encouraging and supporting our two elected commissioners to push-back on this unnecessary and costly project.
Looking forward, there is still much to accomplish to correct the current management in our dysfunctional PUD No. 2. What was demonstrated at the March 21 meeting, Commissioner Thompson has no respect for the ratepayers, does not want their input and runs the meetings contrary to the Washington statutes’ open meetings laws, and has displayed her ignorance of the Robert Rules of Order. She does not possess the decorum to be the chair.
The good news: Commissioners Anderson and Thompson have their priorities straight: The ratepayers are their number one priority. Commissioner Anderson in voting for the termination made the argument: I will not vote to continue a project not knowing the costs in advance of voting, the rate payers have the right to know.
I encourage the PUD #2 ratepayers to support Commissioners Anderson and Swanson, they have a “swamp” to drain in the management of our PUD #2, and this will take some time.
Nuclear still a good fit for county
Public Utility District No. 2 of Pacific County is a member of Energy Northwest and has had commissioners serve on the Energy Northwest Board of Directors. Energy Northwest is the public power agency that owns and operates Columbia Generating Station (CGS), the state’s third largest provider of carbon-free electricity after Grand Coulee and Chief Joseph dams.
PUD commissioners and employees have gained insights and knowledge about nuclear energy and nuclear energy operations; about their systems and back-up systems; the regulatory framework these plants operate in; and the professionals who keep the plant running safely and efficiently.
It is with this knowledge that the PUD Commissioners read the commentary by Leslie March (“There’s a nuclear reactor in my backyard,” published Feb. 28) and thought how wonderful it would be if everyone could have the first-hand knowledge that has been gained by the District Commissioners and employees. Would it change Ms. March’s mind about nuclear energy? Probably not. But it would help her writing be more informed.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (not “Regulating”) is the gold standard of nuclear energy oversight in the world. The NRC directed nuclear plants to take certain actions following the events at Fukushima because this is an industry that learns from mistakes. Energy Northwest has been working since 2011 to complete their post-Fukushima NRC actions. The price tag has been more than $75 million. The major lesson of Fukushima: additional redundancy. Energy Northwest has multiple back-ups in place should the plant lose off-site power. Now there are additional sets of equipment on site. The final deliverable will be installed during the refueling and maintenance outage that starts in May. That is the installation of a hardened containment vent system. So for Ms. March to claim this work “may not ever happen” is curious. It’s been happening. And will be completed on time, in fact.
Much of the rest of her commentary is made up of the same tired anti-nuclear energy talking points that don’t take into account actual facts, which is a shame. Some of us have stood next to Columbia Generating Station’s spent fuel pool and also viewed the dry casks that also hold spent fuel assemblies. Both systems are incredibly safe. The casks themselves could last for decades and pose zero environmental threat. Nuclear fuel is a solid. It doesn’t have the potential to “leak.” When there is a suitable location to store all of the nation’s used nuclear fuel that is where it will be safely located. In the next 20 to 30 years, new advanced reactor designs will use that fuel to generate more carbon-free electricity. Perhaps a design being developed right here in Washington state with funding by a man named Bill Gates — TerraPower.
Regarding flooding, the Army Corps of Engineers last year looked at the potential loss of all the upstream dams on the Columbia River and declared Columbia Generating Station’s safe operations would not be affected. CGS is what the NRC calls a “dry site.” The earthquake risk was determined earlier in a peer-reviewed seismic study (headed by Pacific Northwest National Lab) involving scientists from around the globe. The report is available. It’s not the Hollywood blockbuster-in-waiting Ms. March wishes it was.
What Ms. March is asking us all to do is step backward, into the past; to make decisions based on fear, not facts or realities. The glory days of the anti-nuclear movement happened more than 30 years ago. Now we face climate change. We don’t have the luxury of abandoning well-running, carbon-free sources of electricity based on unwarranted fears and misplaced passions. Nuclear plants are, in fact, the very resources we should be fighting for.
Wind and solar are admirable generating resources and have their place in the electricity mix, but alongside nuclear, hydro and the others. In December, the wind turbines in the Bonneville Power Administration service area operated just 25 percent of the time. We need a mix to keep our schools open, hospitals and businesses running and our homes heated all the time.
We are proud to serve our community as PUD commissioners. Our representative is proud to provide oversight and guidance to Energy Northwest as a board member. The Commissioners have watched performance reach new heights at Columbia Generating Station. As with other power resources, there is more room to improve and more efficiencies to be gained, to be sure. But what Ms. March didn’t tell you is that CGS has steadily reduced its costs; set generation records four out of the past five years; and helped saved the region more than $2 billion through extension of bonds tied to the plant’s 20-year license renewal, reducing potential wholesale power increases to customers of PUD No. 2 of Pacific County.
Nuclear energy, in the form of Columbia Generating Station, has been a good fit for the Northwest, and Energy Northwest remains a good partner to Public Utility District No. 2 of Pacific County.
Diana Thompson, President
Michael Swanson, Vice President
Richard “Dick” Anderson, Secretary