The Voice for Industry
|October 14, 2009|
||Big Rate Hike?
News You Might Not Want to Know
Hats off to Laura Onstot at the Seattle Weekly for spotting some bad news that hasn't really emerged yet from City Hall.
Past issues of Seattle Industry highlighted the growing abundance of natural gas thanks to new drilling techniques. This is a tremendously positive development for the economy and the environment because gas is so much cleaner than coal for electrical generation and the US possesses huge gas reserves (as does Canada). The New York Times (link) recently published a good story about the gas boom.
But, the great news about natural gas comes with a bad twist for Seattle City Light customers, as Onstot reported in the Weekly. Seattle City Light makes vast sums of money selling surplus hydro power. This revenue helps hold down local electricity rates.
But, the surplus power sums aren't nearly as vast as they once were because the availability of natural gas is depressing electricity prices throughout the country.
Result? You probably already guessed.
City Light proposes to make up for the declining revenue through a rate increase of nearly nine percent in 2010, followed by another 10 percent or so over 2011 and 2012. But the City Light proposal is based in part on a City Light staff assumption that gas prices will rebound next year. But, if gas prices remain low, as most expect, the proposed rate increases could grow even higher and the gas issue could impact City Light revenues and rates for years to come.
This issue is just beginning to make its way through the City Council. The council sets electric rates.
The rate proposal will be discussed in greater detail at the October 27 meeting of the Executive Committee for the Manufacturing Industrial Council of Seattle. The discussion will begin at 4:30 pm and is open to the public. RSVP to 206-762-2470. The meeting will be held in Georgetown at 5509 1st Avenue South.
Crime on the Increase in
SR 410 Closed West of Naches
The 47-mile closed section of SR 410 is between Mount Rainier National Park's Lake Tipsoo and the junction with US 12, five miles west of Naches.
WSDOT closed SR 410 at 6 a.m. Sunday when the highway section was uplifted and pushed into the Naches River. Due to the continuous movement of the hillside and the redirection of the Naches River channel, local officials closed Nile Road as it also suffered landslide damage and flooded.
More information, photos and video are available at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/sr410/landslide.
During the closure, commerical traffic is being detoured via US 12 or I-90.
Next Alaskan Viaduct Inspection Closure
Scheduled for Oct. 24-25
Most Of The Work Is At Night - But
Still A Lot of It!
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