PUD or Macquarie PSE Power?

Power for the people?  or  Power for Profit?  That’s the other regular election issue that I am really geared up to work on for the next few months. 

We have a chance in Thurston County to assert local control through the ballot to establish local power, local accountability, and local jobs.

The Thurston Public Power Initiative is on the ballot.  This a very simple measure that opens the door for competition for efficient power generation.  The Macquarie Group PSE is pulling out all the stops to defeat the Initiative and it’s easy to figure out why.  I think the figure is 17 million dollars in profits that were take out of Thurston County last year and deposited in the coffers of the Australian banking giant – the Macquarie Group.

I notice that an R Castaneda was posting in the Daily Zero with a letter in favor of the The Macquarie Group PSE yesterday.  Castaneda says he(?) lost power for one day last winter with the ice storm.  and his recommendation to folks who lost power for many days is simple:  buy a generator.

Who needs local jobs maintaining the lines, trimming the trees, restoring the power.  Just ship the profits to a struggling international bank and buy a generator set.

I am not sure what to say about that, but I am not planning to buy a generator set.

Here is some history to consider:

Puget Sound Energy was a locally developed  energy company that formed with the 1997 merger of Washington Energy and Puget Sound Power & Light.  You can get a possibly factual primer on PSE at  Wikipedia.

Here is an interesting set of newspaper articles that provide a longer term look at questions about Puget Sound Energy and the takover by the Macquarie Group.

Take special notice of these particular articles:

from the last article:

Referred to as “the millionaire’s factory” before the onset of the financial crisis, Macquarie’s net profit fell 25% in fiscal 2012 to an eight-year low of A$730 million Australian dollars as a slump in deal volumes and volatility in global markets cut earnings at Australia’s only listed investment bank.

A Macquarie spokeswomen wasn’t immediately available for comment.

So, we have a decision to make in Thurston County about power.  Do we continue to buy our electricity from the millionaires factory or should we establish a public power option to keep the private sector competitive?  This does not seem like a hard decision.