Friday, July 07, 2006
Minimum 15% Renewables by 2020 to go on WA state ballot in Nov
Friday, July 7, 2006 - 12:00 AM
Bid to restrain fossil-fuel use likely to get fall vote
By Seattle Times staff
OLYMPIA — An initiative that would require utilities to get 15 percent of their power from renewable resources such as wind and solar appears headed for the November ballot.
Initiative 937 supporters estimated they turned in more than 330,000 signatures Thursday. They need 224,880 valid signatures of registered voters to qualify for the ballot. Today is the last day signatures can be turned in.
Washingtonians for Energy Security, the group backing the initiative, has raised about $478,000 and used paid signature-gatherers. Big donations include $50,000 from the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council and $25,000 from Seattle Biodiesel.
The goal of I-937 is to help wean the state from fossil fuels by requiring utilities serving 25,000 or more customers to get at least 15 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2020.
Companies falling into that category supply about 84 percent of the energy used in the state.
The Association of Washington Business opposes the initiative, but it's not clear if there will be an organized campaign against I-937, said Don Brunell, president of the association. The group said it's concerned that the initiative could drive up energy prices.