Enzensperger for PUD
All county residents have the opportunity to vote for candidates running for the District 3 commissioner position of the Okanogan Public Utility District (PUD) in the Nov. 4 election. This includes residents who get their power from their local electric cooperative (the OCEC). This is important, as the PUD commissioner position is the least-understood but likely one of the most-consequential elected positions in Okanogan County.
The publicly owned, nonprofit PUD serves the public by providing reliable electric power via its hundreds of miles of transmission and distribution lines, and provides well-paid, technically challenging employment for dozens of county residents. It also makes critical investments in maintenance and expansion of infrastructure, and plans for future energy demands. The PUD commission is governed by a three-member board of individuals elected for six-year terms. They are compensated for their part-time service and hold a responsibility to act on behalf of all residents.
Especially now, under the Inflation Reduction Act recently signed into law, there will be huge opportunities for the PUD to increase their energy efficiency and effectiveness. The PUD would need to take advantage of the bill’s options to expand weatherization efficiency upgrades, construct community and individual solar projects, provide training in solar installation, allow direct investments in renewable energy projects, etc.
Yet based on their recent decisions regarding the PUD’s energy future, the sitting commissioners seem ill-equipped to think to the future. They seem uncertain or unconcerned regarding how best to respond to climate change, or how to embrace multiple strategies to advance the energy future of Okanogan County.
We need to change the PUD leadership beginning with electing Joseph Enzensperger to replace the incumbent Jerry Asmussen. Joseph is highly committed to engaging with the public, and has the necessary skills and knowledge to advance the utility in a ways to address future energy needs and challenges in Okanogan County. As he likes to say, “electricity is central to our lives.” We need to vote like it is!
Stephen C. Ralph
The stars are out
A heartfelt thanks to the Methow Dark Sky Coalition and their volunteers for helping local businesses to shield their night lighting to prevent light pollution. Olivia Palmer’s informative article was great to see. Late August and September are the best months to sleep out under the stars because the nights are longer, yet still warm. All over the planet, fewer and fewer people are able to enjoy the splendor and magic of the night skies. We are so fortunate to live where we can.