Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Press Conference Announcing Energy Supply Alert
January 26, 2001
A few days ago, I announced a package of bipartisan legislation to address Washington's growing energy supply problem. As you remember, back in early December we issued a call for conservation. Our proposed legislation will greatly strengthen that call and accomplish three important things:
Serious conservation of electricity
Promote more generation of electricity
Protect senior citizens and others on fixed incomes from the impact of rapidly rising energy costs.
Today, I'm taking another step to address all three goals. I'm using the authority provided me under state law to declare an Energy Supply Alert to exercise a preventive measure to help keep us from a worse situation, and to make sure that our state continues to have enough electricity for homes and businesses.
State law gives my office the responsibility to do what it takes to provide more energy to ensure the preservation of public health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of this state.
I am invoking my authority under state law to declare an Energy Supply Alert based on my determination that there exists "a situation which threatens to disrupt or diminish the supply of energy to the extent that the public health, safety and general welfare may be jeopardized."
Such a situation clearly exists.
Our energy supply balance is precarious. Without additional conservation and new generation, an unanticipated event such as a transmission or power plant outage or a cold snap could lead to rolling blackouts in our region.
Without proactive steps now, we could face further rate increases that could make energy unaffordable and unavailable for thousands of citizens and businesses.
Under the authority of this Energy Supply Alert, I am signing three orders.
The first one, effective for at least 90 days, will require state and local governments in Washington to cut electricity and natural gas use by 10 percent.
Part of this order requires state and local governments to figure out ways to use less electricity -- especially during peak times, in the morning and afternoon. I can't stress enough how important it is for all of us to turn off lights, turn down heat, and use appliances wisely.
And I believe state and local governments not only can save a lot of electricity, but also set an example for everybody else to follow. Citizens shouldn't have to drive by a government building at night only to see lights on that don't need to be on.
If we in government can't do a better job of conservation, how can we expect the public to do a better job? The answer is: We can do a better job, we must, and we will!
A second order, effective for 30 days - with the possibility of renewal - will give oil refineries and other companies including Tacoma Power, the authority to use temporary generators in order to create more electricity.
In all cases, these utilities and companies must, and I repeat, MUST, take steps to offset any impact on air quality caused by the temporary generating facility. In effect, they must eventually remove from the air the same amount of soot they put into the air from these generators.
I have here with me top state and regional air quality officials to explain how that will work.
But what I want understood up front is that what we doing here is speeding up the process so these companies can start generating power. And what we're doing is speeding up the rules requiring them to take actions to offset the pollution pound for pound.
Steam Generation Order
A third order will allow the City of Tacoma to burn alternative fuels at its steam plant, but will not allow the plant to emit any more pollution is allowed now.
I have with me today Dennis McClaren, with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, and Stu Clark, with the Department of Ecology, to help provide answers to any technical questions you might have.
- Proclamation by the Governor - Energy - January 26, 2001
- Governor's Energy Supply Alert Order No. 01-01 (Tacoma Steam Plant)
- Governor's Energy Supply Alert Order No. 01-02 (Temporary Electric Generators)
- Governor's Energy Supply Alert Order No. 01-03 (Energy Conservation)
- Locke announces energy alert to ensure conservation and increase electricity supplies
- Locke and legislators propose bipartisan package to provide plentiful electricity at fair prices
- Enough Energy for Washington