We have always seen flaws in Initiative 937, which created the Energy Independence Act, requiring utilities to purchase renewable forms of energy whether they need it or not.
Under the initiative approved by voters in 2007, hydropower does not count as a renewable resource. We’ve seen arguments for and against including hydropower, but it surely is a renewable resource — at least as long as the Columbia River keeps flowing.
Our friends on the other side of the Cascades have held off attempts to amend the law. Eastern Washington utilities and business leaders have advocated several changes but have been unsuccessful so far.
Sen. Sharon Brown is leading the charge in Olympia to take another swing at tweaking the law to give Bonneville Power Administration customers credit for new energy from hydropower. The existing output still won’t be counted as renewable.