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PUD Declares December 15th “Hydropower Appreciation Day”
Thursday, December 15, 2016, was declared Hydropower Appreciation Day in Clallam County by the Clallam County PUD Commissioners at their December 12, 2016, regular meeting.
PUD Customers in Clallam County are fortunate to have amongst the lowest utility rates not only in the state, but in the region and nation as well. This is largely due to the clean, carbon free, renewable hydropower system on the Columbia and Snake River Dams.
This is something the Commissioners believe we should all be proud of and recognize. So, along with several other PUD’s across the State of Washington, Clallam County PUD is recognizing the benefits of the hydropower system that is so beneficial, and in many ways other than electricity generation, to our region.
The adopted resolution (Resolution 2072-16) reads:
A RESOLUTION Declaring December 15, 2016 as Hydropower Appreciation Day in Clallam County
WHEREAS, customers of PUD #1 of Clallam County (hereinafter “Clallam PUD”) receive 88 percent of their electricity from federal hydroelectric dams in the Columbia River Basin; and
WHEREAS, hydroelectricity is the Pacific Northwest’s premier clean, renewable, and reliable resource, providing nearly 60 percent of the Northwest’s electricity and 90 percent of its renewable energy;
WHEREAS, dams in the Columbia River Basin produce more electricity than any other North American river and account for 40 percent of all U-S hydropower;
WHEREAS, hydropower produces no emissions, the Pacific Northwest’s carbon footprint from energy production is nearly half that of other parts of the country;
WHEREAS, hydropower output can be quickly dispatched or reduced, it is an excellent back-up for intermittent wind or solar;
WHEREAS, high technology firms have located facilities in the Pacific Northwest because of the availability of reliable, clean hydropower, creating jobs and boosting local economies;
WHEREAS, traditional industries and businesses, representing hundreds of thousands of jobs, continue to rely on low-cost hydro to stay in business and prosper;
WHEREAS, barging of 42 million tons of cargo, valued at over $20 billion, on the “marine highway” created by Columbia and Snake River dams is the most environmentally friendly way to move cargo, keeping 700,000 trucks off the region’s highways every year;
WHEREAS, the annual net earned income from Pacific Northwest agriculture exceeds $8 billion, and the region’s economy is greatly enhanced by 7.8 million acres of irrigated agricultural land that without hydropower and reservoirs, would otherwise be too dry to farm successfully;
WHEREAS, a federal reservoir storage plan helps avert flood danger in the Columbia River Basin;
WHEREAS, since 2008 Pacific Northwest public power utilities and their customers have invested nearly $1 billion for fish and wildlife programs in the Columbia River Basin;
WHEREAS, there are more fish in the Columbia River than at any time since the first lower mainstem dam was built at Bonneville in 1938;
WHEREAS, in 2015, over 2.3 million adult salmon passed Bonneville Dam, the second-strongest return since counts began in 1938;
WHEREAS, young salmon make the downstream trip through eight federal dams on an average rate of 97 percent survival;
WHEREAS, Snake River sockeye, on the brink of extinction in the 1990s, have been rebuilding; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the Board of Commissioners of PUD #1 of Clallam County declares December 15, 2016 as hydropower appreciation day in Clallam County.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That Clallam PUD:
Encourages its customers to celebrate the multiple benefits the Pacific Northwest enjoys by having hydroelectricity as a part of its historical source of electricity;
Asks its customers to support Clallam PUD’s efforts to educate the public and government representatives about the importance of maintaining hydroelectricity as a major source of power for the region;
Supports ongoing efforts by federal dam operators to maintain safe, reliable, cost-based energy from dams in the Columbia River Basin;
Supports continuing efforts to balance the benefit of hydropower with the responsibility of protecting, improving and sustaining fish and wildlife that are dependent on the Columbia River ecosystem;
Supports the management of water flows to protect fish and wildlife, while protecting towns and cities from devastating floods.
Supports efforts to maintain an efficient, clean “water highway” for transport of cargo with a minimal carbon footprint on the environment;
PASSED, by the Board of Commissioners of the Public Utility District No. 1 of Clallam County, Washington, this 12th day of December, 2016.