This week, utility regulators from the West Coast will reaffirm a commitment made in 2006 to support efforts to reduce carbon pollution and expand development of low-carbon technologies in the energy industry, according to a release from the The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC).
West Coast utility regulators met in Seattle this week to reaffirm commitment to fight carbon pollution together. The WUTC is the state agency that regulates private, investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities in Washington. It is the commission’s responsibility to ensure regulated companies provide safe and reliable service to customers at reasonable rates, while allowing them the opportunity to earn a fair profit.
Three agencies signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Seattle to promote cost effective, reliable, and clean energy resources and infrastructure. These include: Chair David Danner of the WUTC, President Michael Picker of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and Chair Lisa Hardie of the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC). Three ag Washington Gov.
Jay Inslee welcomed the collaboration by the regulatory agencies. “Working together the Pacific Coast states have led the nation in promoting clean energy and reducing dangerous carbon pollution while building the nation’s strongest state economies,” he said. “This action by our utility commissioners affirm that leadership by recognizing that low carbon energy is in the best interest of our citizens and by signaling our intent to foster the innovation that will drive continued progress.”
In 2006, Western state utility commissioners signed a similar agreement to address climate change and to implement the principles set forth in the September 2003 West Coast Governor’s Global Warming Initiative. A decade later, utility regulators continue to face the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas pollution. To address the real-life implications of climate change, the commissions support this collaborative effort to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, improve system reliability, and obtain cost benefits for ratepayers.
“Washington, Oregon, and California continue to lead the nation in the development and deployment of low-carbon energy resources. While we have accomplished much to be proud of over the last decade, our renewed commitment to work closely together is a critical first step towards creating a shared energy system that drives deep carbon reduction in a manner that improves reliability and lowers costs,” CPUC Chair Michael Picker said.
The CPUC serves the public interest by protecting consumers and ensuring the provision of safe, reliable utility service and infrastructure at just and reasonable rates, with a commitment to environmental enhancement and a healthy California economy.
“We look forward to renewing our commitment to collaborate with our fellow West Coast commissions.” OPUC Chair Lisa Hardie added. “With this agreement we reaffirm our work developing innovative solutions to climate change consistent with our agencies’ missions. Under the renewed Framework we will explore new, collaborative pathways to integrate lower carbon technologies in line with our state policies and to maximize the efficiency of the electricity system in order to reduce costs for ratepayers.”
The OPUC ensures Oregon utility customers have access to safe, reliable, and high-quality services at just and reasonable rates, through robust analysis and independent decision-making conducted in an open and fair process.