To the Editor:
I am writing to urge readers to support Christine Grant for Whatcom County Public Utility District Commissioner. Among all the races on the 2020 ballot, this is among our best opportunities to make a profound difference – for local control, for social justice, and for climate action.
Christine Grant is not a politician-type. She speaks plainly, sticks to the facts, and does little (almost too little) self-promotion. She teaches at WWU’s Institute for Energy Studies. I see her as a brilliant person and a bit of a policy wonk: someone who truly understands energy policy, rather than someone seeking elected office for power and status.
Although Whatcom PUD has been around since 1936, most people don’t know about it. Why? Because it does so little, supplying electricity to a single customer and supplying water to a smattering of customers. But it could do much more. Many PUDs in Washington state supply electricity, broadband, and water service to thousands of citizens, not just a few industries.
If it chose to, our PUD could offer: widely available electricity at rates that aren’t padded with a profit margin; broadband internet across the county that’s more affordable and accessible than current options; increased local control over utility costs and sources; and potentially, reduced carbon impacts due to using more renewable sources than private utilities. With Christine, our PUD could choose to truly serve Whatcom citizens.
Until 2018, white men always held Whatcom’s three PUD seats. Then Atul Deshmane was elected. Atul – like Christine – sees the potential for the PUD to do much more. Christine will be the first female commissioner in Whatcom PUD’s history. And once elected she will tip the PUD into having a majority of commissioners committed to providing broader services.
Christine’s opponent is supported the Gateway Pacific Terminal. He is probably a very nice guy, and has been endorsed by people I respect. But he isn’t serving our true interests.
Christine will bring real change to our PUD, and it is time we get behind her. Please join me in voting Christine Grant for Whatcom PUD. And spread the word; if enough people actually pay attention to this race, Christine will win.
Daniel Kirkpatrick, Fairhaven