Letters to the Editor

Math on coal plant bill doesn't add up

Washington state House Bill 1825 is titled, "Strengthening local economies by reducing emissions from coal-fired power generation through decommissioning."

While creative advertising and poetic license are par for the course in the business of legislative proposals, this one is over the top.

Putting nearly 300 people out of work at Washington’s only coal-fired power generation station strengthens the local economy? Impacting 400 craft who perform the station’s annual outage strengthens the local economy? Directly affecting the 50 subcontractors who perform routine services at the plant strengthens the local economy? Somehow the math doesn’t work for me.

This proposal, sponsored by Rep. Marko Liias, D-Mukilteo, would decommission the Centralia Power Station by 2020 (a Senate proposal amends the date to 2025).

With requirements specified to reduce certain emissions starting in 2015, one of the two units would be shut down by 2017. Of course, a certain amount of deduction is required to reach this calculation – obviously not the mathematics desired by the bill’s sponsor in reaching this conclusion.

One of the key factors considered when relocating or expanding a business is the availability of reliable energy. Shutting down the Centralia Power Station strengthens the reliability of energy delivery in Washington? Eliminating 10 percent of the state’s energy supply results in improvement of a reliable energy source?

Once again the result doesn’t equal the calculation.

The rhetoric coming from Olympia is all about creating jobs. HB 1825 destroys jobs. You don’t have to be mathematician to calculate a disconnect between rhetoric and results on this legislative proposal.