PROCLAMATION BY THE GOVERNOR
WHEREAS, a high demand for electrical energy throughout the western United States this summer has resulted in significant shortages of electricity in parts of the western United States power grid. These shortages have caused current physical disruptions in California, and there have been unprecedented high market rates for electricity throughout the West. California, which is tied to Washington on the power grid, has declared several stage II energy alerts and may soon call a stage III energy alert, allowing for rolling blackouts to ration energy in that state, further driving up prices and threatening the supply of electricity in Washington and other parts of the west coast;
WHEREAS, the Bonneville Power Administration and private electrical power generating companies in Washington have begun extraordinary measures to use electricity reserves by drawing down their reservoirs beyond normal in efforts to mitigate the electricity shortage;
WHEREAS, the shortage of electrical power this summer has threatened the supply of frozen storage warehouse space that is essential to our agricultural and seafood industries. No viable alternative to frozen storage can be found, and the loss of frozen storage capacity will cause millions of pounds of crops and seafood to perish.
WHEREAS, the frozen storage warehouse supply crisis has occurred as we approach the peak harvest season for Washington crops and in the Alaska fishing season, when the need for frozen storage capacity is in highest demand;
WHEREAS, this crisis threatens the survival of farmers, fishermen, seafood companies, many of which are already under distress due to severely depressed prices and other factors. Additionally, thousands of jobs depend on these threatened businesses and industries, and may be permanently lost unless the situation is alleviated;
WHEREAS, the volume of crops and seafood at risk is a significant portion of the nation's food supply of those products, and immediate steps must be taken to alleviate social and economic impacts to people and property;
NOW THEREFORE, I, Gary Locke, Governor of the state of Washington, find that vital public services, particularly fish production, food production and processing facilities, are at risk, and there exists a situation that threatens to disrupt or diminish the supply of energy to the extent that the public health, safety, and general welfare may be jeopardized, and find that an energy supply alert exists within this state, and hereby declare a condition of energy supply alert under Chapters 43.06 and 43.21G RCW. I further direct all state and local governmental agencies to fully comply with all orders that may accompany this declaration or that I may issue pursuant to this proclamation as deemed necessary to preserve and protect the public health, safety, and general welfare, and to minimize, to the fullest extent possible, the injurious economic, social, and environmental consequences of this energy supply crisis.
|IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the State of Washington to be Affixed at Olympia this 10th day of August A.D., Two thousand.|
|BY THE GOVERNOR:|
|Secretary of State|