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Letter: Initiative underway to form utility district

John Dunzer writes a letter to the editor in response to the latest power outage

Published on August 18, 2017 12:01AM

Last Tuesday night another power outage blacked out all of coastal Clatsop County for three hours. The night was peaceful and rain had not fallen in two months. So it came as somewhat of a surprise.

The cause of the outage according to Pacific Power was the failure of a single pole transformer in Seaside. Chalk it up to “a bird or a chemical reaction after rain,” says the Wyoming-based Pacific Power. “It’s the same idea as the breaker box in your garage,” Pacific Power stated.

I hate to be the bearer of sad news but in 2017, the failure of one of the thousands of pole-mounted transformers should not cause this level of outage in a well-designed power grid. It may be a trivial problem to Pacific Power but it is evidence that the electrical grid in this area needs a lot of attention and modernization to become more fault-tolerant.

Please consider carefully the initiative now about to circulate to form our own People’s Utility District (Cascadia PUD).

We can join all our neighboring communities in Oregon and Washington who already have successfully operating PUDs. They enjoy local management and because PUDs have access to Northwest Bonneville Power, a 30 percent reduction in your monthly electric bill. In addition, Cascadia PUD has plans to construct a local renewable power generator, which Pacific Power rejected because they plan to build wind farms in Wyoming and make us pay to have it delivered 1,500 miles so its cost to us will be another 30 percent higher.

Cascadia PUD will save everyone in the community hundreds of dollars a year, require no increase in property taxes to operate and will create local jobs. In the event a Cascadia event does occur, it will be located and designed to provide electrical service to our communities immediately instead of our homes not having electricity for a projected six-month outage with the current system.

John Dunzer, Seaside


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