March 25, 2016
The March 16 column by Amy Roberts about the Sustainable Transportation and Energy Plan (STEP) was shockingly low on truth and high on misinformation and mudslinging. Ms. Roberts states that after initially voting STEP down in the House, the Representatives reconsidered the bill and passed it after dinner. She then states:
"According to legislators, they’d "come to a new understanding of the bill" they’d voted down just hours before. Which seems to be code for "Rocky Mountain Power picked up the tab at dinner." Considering few of them drink, my guess is they are pretty cheap dates, too. Perhaps the napkins were $100 bills."
This is a highly unprofessional accusation, and the Park Record should maintain a higher standard of journalistic integrity than to publish such unsubstantiated accusations.
Ms. Roberts is absolutely wrong when she accuses legislators of changing their vote because of donations. After the first vote, it was clear some legislators did not understand the bill, primarily due to misinformation from critics who admitted they never read the final version of the bill. Nevertheless, once legislators had a chance to understand the bill and receive accurate answers to their questions, they learned it does not penalize or kill rooftop solar customers, doesn’t raise electricity rates, and offers many benefits to customers. The motion to reconsider the bill was completely proper.
To set the (Park) Record straight: STEP establishes a 5-year pilot program to provide funding for electric vehicle infrastructure, clean coal research to reduce air emissions from coal, curtailment of a Wasatch Front power plant during inversions, solar incentives, battery technologies, economic development incentives and other innovative programs. The bill also provides a mechanism to reduce the risk of steep electricity price hikes from environmental regulations. Significantly, the bill also establishes a creative and innovative solution to businesses that desire to use new renewable energy through the creation of a new "green tariff." STEP does all this while mitigating the impact to electricity rates.
Rocky Mountain Power is committed to providing solutions for its customers that reduce emissions, provide greater flexibility and choice, while maintaining the low cost, reliable energy our customers have come to expect. If you are truly for cleaner air, a healthier economy, and mitigating impacts to electricity prices in the future, then you should educate yourself on the provisions of the bill and join Rocky Mountain Power as we STEP into a brighter energy future.