Remember that resolution Council member Kshama Sawant introduced opposing the liquid natural gas (LNG) plant that Puget Sound Energy is building in Tacoma? The one that Sawant’s colleagues referred to Council member Debora Juarez’s committee for more work, over Sawant’s (mild) objections? It has finally re-emerged, on the agenda for Juarez’s committee meeting on Wednesday. And it’s changed.
In the middle of Mayor Durkan’s press conference announcing the resignation of SPd Chief Kathleen O’Toole, she dropped a bombshell: she has also accepted the resignation of Larry Weis as CEO of Seattle City Light.
Lots of goings on today…
Yesterday afternoon the Council voted to declare a piece of city property to be surplus, and to allow the official owner, Seattle City Light, to sell it. Selling off surplus city property is a fairly regular occurrence, but for many reasons this one stands out as a rather frustrating exception.
On June 8th, the city published a Draft Environment Impact Statement (DEIS) for the “city-wide” implementation of the Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program. It’s 462 pages of dense material. Here’s your cheat sheet.
Since last September, Seattle City Light has been trying to convince the City Council’s Energy and Environment Committee that it should be allowed to join the California Independent Systems Operators (CAISO) Energy Imbalance Market (EIM). On its face, it seems like an easy decision, and if SCL had done a better job on its initial pitch to the Council it might have gone through quickly. But they didn’t, and the Council members asked for more information. As the details have emerged, the case for joining the EIM has become murkier. It’s an interesting case study on the state of the power industry, and it points to some big challenges for Seattle City Light.
Let’s unpack this.
Larry Weis, General Manager of Seattle City Light, told the council this morning that its new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) system is rolling out, and installation of new meters will ramp up this summer.
Wednesday afternoon in his Education, Equity and Governance Committee, Council President Bruce Harrell pushed the Seattle IT department to go farther and faster in investigating public Wi-Fi as an alternative to municipal broadband in key areas of the city.
In this afternoon’s Full Council meeting, there are two agenda items. Both of them surfaced disagreements among the Council members, and both times an unlikely voting bloc emerged: Sawant and Harrell.