The Avista Utility Sale...What Does it Mean to Our Region? UPDATE!
Latest News on Avista Sale
Recent developments in Canada have shaken the Washington State Utilities Commission, which is accepting public comment again send an email here: [email protected] The UTC has delayed a final decision by 6 months to December 14. Other states needed to okay the sale, are Oregon and Idaho, Idaho has delayed its decision making and Oregon is expected to follow as it has stipulated it must be informed of changes. Unfortunately, Alaska and Montana had already finalized the okay for the sale of Avista to Hydro One.
The new Ontario Premiere, Doug Ford, had promised voters he would fire Hydro One’s CEO, Mayo Schmidt due to his high salary and recent raises for the CEO and Hydro One’s board. To do so he would have had to convince the board of directors to fire the CEO or replace the board which he could do, with a board that would fire the CEO. Under political pressure, on July 11, CEO Mayo Schmidt retired, and the Hydro One board all resigned. At this point those running Hydro One and negotiating the deal to purchase Avista are gone and Hydro One’s policies going forward are unknown until a new CEO and board are established.
Hydro One could cancel the purchase of Avista, however, page 93 of the deal specifies a $103 Million penalty for the party that cancels the deal or does not pursue the deal through the regulatory process as promised. Canceling the deal, may trigger the cancelation penalty. It is hoped the wholesale resignation of the board would negate the penalty language. These events have caused a drop in share price of both companies and market speculators are unsure the deal will proceed without additional regulatory means for approval, or denial of the deal.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, UTC, learned of these Hydro One management changes on July 11 and on July 12 issued a statement: “The Commission gives further notice that Avista and Hydro One are required , and other parties are invited, to file comments with the Commission concerning these matters, including any recommendations they may have with respect to what additional process should be required by subsequent notice.” We would hope the UTC would be capable of determining additional processes based on the commenting majority opposing the sale.
You can comment to the Washington Utilities and Transportation:
• Refer to Docket No. U-170970 – Joint application of HYDRO ONE LIMITED and AVISTA CORPORATION
• E-mail [email protected]; or Call toll-free 1-888-333-WUTC (9882)
• Write the UTC at: P.O Box 47250, Olympia, WA 98504-7250, Include a return address.
You can appeal to your elected officials to comment on your behalf on this matter.
Request that the sale be canceled on the basis that:
• A significant precondition of the sale has changed, the management of Hydro One. Consequently, the direction and policies of Hydro One going forward are unknown.
• As constituted, the deal does not provide a “Net Benefit” to the rate payer as required for UTC approval of the deal, especially in light of the uncertainty going forward and weak promises that Avista will not be responsible for Hydro One problems and debt.
• The $50.5 Million severance package to the 13 named Avista executives on the completion of this takeover precludes their objective evaluation of the terms of this sale. Self interest in this sale negates objectivity.
At the 2017 CAPR East Meets West Regional Conference, Dave Boleneus presented a fact filled presentation on the Avista Utility Sale and what it means to customers and rate-payers, the huge service area, the region. The accomplished Mr. Boleneus presents an in-depth look at details many may not have known, and not presented in the news about this sale that you may have read. Is this sale putting the West at a terrible risk?
Learn About the Potential Sale of Washington's Avistato Canada's Hydro One!
Good information in this article from the Gem State Patriot
You can attend a hearing to give your opinion on this sale:
April 23, 1 p.m., Spokane Valley City Council Chambers, 10210 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley
April 24, noon, Colville Public Library, 195 S. Oak St., Colville
May 2, 5 p.m., Othello City Council chambers, 500 E. Main St., Othello
May 3, noon, Whitman County Parks and Recreation auditorium, 310 N. Main St., Colfax
It is important Public Utility Commissions receive your comments!
Idaho Public Utilities Commission
P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID, 83702
Click here to go to the commission webpage. Click on case comment form. Use case number: AVU-E-17-09
Washington Utility and Transportation Commission
1300 Evergreen Park Dr SW, Olympia, WA 98502
Click here to go to the commission webpage. Click on File a complaint, then click on the Online Complaint Form. You can also email them at: mailto:[email protected]?subject=Avista%20merger%20with%20Hydro%20One&body=I%20object%20to%20the%20merger%20of%20Avista%20and%20Hydro%20One. (NWPOA recommends emailing them.)
Public Service Commission of Montana
1701 Prospect Ave, Helena, MT, 59601
Click here to fill out a contact form to submit your opinion.
Regulatory Commission of Alaska
701 W. 8th Ave #300, Anchorage, AK, 99501
You can email them at: mailto:[email protected]?subject=Avista%2FHydro%20One%20Merger&body=I%20object%20to%20the%20Avista%20merger%20with%20Hydro%20One! or mailto:[email protected]?subject=Avista%2FHydroOne%20Merger&body=I%20object%20to%20the%20Avista%20merger%20with%20Hydro%20One!
Click here to go to the commission webpage. Click on Public Utilities Complaints. Click on Submit an Informal Complaint. (NWPOA recommends emailing them.)
Oregon Public Utilities Commission
201 High St. SE #100, Salem, OR, 97301
NWPOA recommends emailing them at: mailto:[email protected]?subject=Avista%20merger%20with%20HydroOne&body=I%20object%20to%20the%20merger%20of%20Hydro%20One%20and%20Avista.