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Governor's decision sets dangerous precedent

The governor’s decision to pre-empt our local authority must not be allowed to stand. If this massive overreach of state authority is not reversed, we can all be certain that the EFSEC process will become an automatic rubber stamp allowing more and bigger wind installations throughout our county.

Wild Horse was built in an appropriate location; an action which proves good faith and careful decision making on the part of our elected officials. Two unanimous decisions have been made by our commissioners to prevent wind installations in populated and economically viable regions of the western valley. The governor’s action is unacceptable to those of us who own property, pay taxes, and participate in the local economy and county government.

Other counties are justifiably concerned about a precedent such as this. What good are local decisions when the state is allowed to sweep aside any local ruling and mandate whatever whim those in state office are star struck with at the time? Will a state landfill in the Teanaway be next? If this decision stands, two very bad situations will result.

Local governments won’t be able to protect themselves from preemption and mandates from the state. If EFSEC gets away with this regarding a wind farm, how long will it take before the state starts cloning EFSEC wannabes? Soon they will be siting everything from regional airports to Wal-Marts over the carefully researched decisions of local officials. No Washington citizen should want to see this situation develop.

EFSEC will become the go-to bunch for every greedy energy company in the world. The citizen conduit to county authority will have been rendered useless by the emasculation of local leaders. The entire western valley will be festooned with giant turbines, which create very little energy, but destroy property values and quality of life for miles in all directions.

Don’t let this happen to Kittitas County. Contact your commissioners and request they appeal this dangerous power grab to the Supreme Court. We elected them to make decisions on our behalf for the benefit of the entire county. They are dedicated, conscientious public servants of the highest order and have demonstrated this in hundreds of hours of service. They, and by extension, we, must not have their carefully reasoned decision thrown back in their faces by an unelected bureaucrats and a governor who ignores an entire county of constituents.

Jeffrey S. Howard

Cle Elum

Daily Record

21 September 2007