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2019 Legislative Principles and Objectives

1. Washington electric co-ops, as consumer-owned utilities, are regulated by local boards and are well governed by those who own them. Cooperatives should remain independent of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission’s jurisdiction. Cooperatives have the highest customer satisfaction in the state.

2. The Legislature must consider the impacts of policy decisions on the energy costs for Washington’s rural families and businesses, and maximize the opportunities to utilize Washington’s abundant and inexpensive electric energy.

3.WRECA seeks legislative and regulatory provisions that provide small utilities with exemptions or more cost-effective compliance alternatives. We define small utilities as those with two percent or less of the state’s total number of electric consumers as reported by the most recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

4. To avoid duplicative and costly regulations that can harm Washington’s competitiveness, WRECA prefers a national effort as the best approach to limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

2019 Legislative Objectives

1. WRECA supports a Washington State energy policy that:
  • recognizes the value of the Northwest’s clean and predominantly carbon-free electricity resources,
  • avoids shifting the costs of carbon pollution mitigation to cooperatives that do not use carbon emitting resources, and
  • supports carbon mitigation policies which do not adversely impact jobs in Washington State or place our businesses at a competitive disadvantage.

2. Concerning the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RCW 19.285), WRECA:
  • supports amendments to allow incremental power generated as a result of efficiency improvements at federal hydro facilities to count towards a utility’s RPS requirements, and
  • opposes increases in RPS standards, or utility inclusion requirements.
3. WRECA supports the coordination of danger tree removal permissions and liability with the Department of Natural Resources (Utilities must have the right to proactively manage trees that are outside of standard Rights-of-Way or a waiver from liability if access permissions are not granted.) 

4.WRECA supports the electric cooperatives’ rights to determine the appropriate permitting, safe placement, permitting and rates for pole attachments. Due to safety and cybersecurity concerns, WRECA opposes third party access to any utility infrastructure.  

5.WRECA is a strong advocate for the propagation of rural broadband and realizes the successful build-out must be safe, environmentally sensitive, aesthetically acceptable and economically sustainable. 

6.WRECA supports the electric cooperatives’ right to eminent domain

7.WRECA does not support any amendments to the state’s net metering statute unless utilities are allowed to establish rates and fees to prevent to shifting the costs of serving net metered consumers to the consumers who are not net metered.

8.WRECA supports allowing easements on state-owned land for locating renewable generation in perpetuity at no cost.

9.WRECA supports state energy policy that ensures the reliability of the electric transmission and distribution systems.