Call to conserve power proves need for better energy policies

Policies that strain the power grid even further are impractical, unrealistic

OLYMPIA…Millions of power customers in Washington received a notice over the weekend to lower their thermostats and limit their use of hot water to alleviate pressure on the power grid while Washington experienced winter weather. Senate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, released the following statement in response.

“This weekend’s energy alerts should serve as a reminder that public policy matters when it comes to our state’s energy system. Unfortunately, for too long, legislative Democrats and the governor have been carrying out an energy agenda that threatens to push the Northwest’s power grid to a breaking point. Instead, we should be looking to create a more resilient grid with a diverse set of energy resources.

“If the grid can’t handle current demand during a brief cold snap, it won’t be able to handle the increased demand that will come from millions of additional electric vehicles on the road. Combine that with proposals to ban natural gas and breach the Snake River dams and you have a catastrophe in the making. If the grid fails, millions of people would be put at risk – left without a dependable way to heat their homes. People living in houses with wells could lose access to water. Those with plug-in electric vehicles may be stranded.   

“The better approach is to responsibly build and strengthen our power infrastructure. Senate Republicans have proposed a plan called ‘Power Washington,’ which is made up of pragmatic and equitable solutions that would make a real difference. This is a complicated issue and simply banning fossil fuels and taxing an overworked grid is not the way to keep people safe and warm. It may sound good in theory to some, but it’s not a real-world solution.”


“Power Washington” is built on seven major goals:

  • Help people access different kinds of alternative vehicles, such as hybrids and hydrogen
  • Preserve, improve, and expand Washington’s clean hydropower system
  • Enable the capture of carbon and invest in our working forests and natural resources to maximize carbon absorption
  • Significantly reduce high fuel prices for drivers
  • Ensure that the transition to new energy technology is environmentally responsible
  • Shore up our electric grid to keep providing affordable and reliable power
  • Keep energy costs low so people can be secure in their homes and businesses