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I-937 foes far behind in campaign fundraising  

Supporters of Initiative 937, the renewable energy measure on the Nov. 7 ballot, have out-raised their opponents by a 4-to-1 margin heading into the final two weeks of the campaign, according to the state Public Disclosure Commission.

Washingtonians for Cleaner Cheaper Energy had collected $1.52 million and spent $1.46 million as of Oct. 10, while No on I 937 had raised $372,615 and spent $67,785.

Leading the pro-initiative campaign funding is the Sierra Club and its political action committee with combined in-kind contributions of more than $132,000.

The initiative addresses two of the Sierra Club’s top priorities, which are air quality and public health, said Sierra Club associate regional representative Shannon Harps.

Power plants that pollute the air and damage public health would be less likely to be built if the initiative passes, she said.

Other top contributors to an initiative requiring utilities serving 25,000 or more customers to get 15 percent of their electricity from green energy by 2020 are: Jabez Blumenthal, a retired Seattle educator, $108,750; the Scottish Power Company’s PPM Energy Inc., $80,000; Union of Concerned Scientists, $51,000 and Horizon Wind Energy of Houston, $50,000.

The top contributor to the No on I-937 campaign is the Weyerhaeuser Co. with $101,200.

“We’ re in favor of renewable energy, but the initiative is not inclusive enough,” said Weyerhaeuser spokesman Frank Mendizabal. For instance, he said, the initiative doesn’t give utilities credit for energy generated from a pulp mill waste called spent pulp liquor.

Other major contributors to No on I-937 include Avista Corp, a Spokane-based private utility, $50,000; Northwest Pulp and Paper, $50,000; Longview Fiber, $50,000; and Boise Cascade LLC, $50,000.


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