by Cindy Alia, December 8, 2108
The Energy and tenacity of Citizens' Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR), Spokane Treasurer Rob Chase who pursued coordination under the the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970, Idaho based Avista Customer Group, and many concerned and commenting citizens of both Washington and Idaho were very effective in putting pressure on the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Committee (WUTC), who in Washington State had the final say in determining if Avista, a United States owned utility company could be purchased by a Canadian utility company, Hydro One!
Avista has 10 days to appeal this decision, but for now, we at CAPR are grateful for all those from many "constituencies" who enaged in the battle over ownership and control of our nation's resources and utilities. At question, in part, was if this proposed sale would be of a "net benefit" to the citizens of this state and to the consumers of electricity produced by Avista. The WUTC concluded there would not be a net benefit. The final order of the Commission reads in part: The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (Commission), acting under RCW Chapters 80.01, 80.04, and 80.12, finds that the proposed transaction whereby Hydro One Limited (Hydro One) would acquire indirectly all outstanding common stock of Avista Corporation (Avista) fails to provide a net benefit to Avista’s customers. The Commission accordingly “shall not approve” the transaction, as required under RCW 80.12.020. The Commission finds, in addition, that the proposed transaction “is not consistent with the public interest” in consideration of which “it shall deny the application” under WAC 480-143-170.
The question is still under investigation in Idaho by the Utilities Commission (PUC) in that state. It is understood that if all 5 states impacted by the proposed sale, Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Washington, and Montana are not in agreement with the sale it will not be approved to go forward. Washington has not approved the sale, and it is under serious review in Idaho, case documents in Idaho have recorded the objections of Avista Customer Group, and these arguments can be read here:
It is very heartening to see that in America, and in this case, especially in the states of Washington and Idaho, the will of the people can, with hard facts, sourced documents and research, the persistent use of the rule of law, and putting shoulders to the load with an organized and integrated will to reach a goal, can cause government to listen and act accordingly. Well done citizens!