Working for a safe, affordable, vibrant, innovative, and interconnected city.
Learn More
Seattle.gov Home Page
Seattle.gov This Department
Link to Seattle City Light Home Page Link to Seattle City Light Home Page Link to Seattle City Light About Us Page Link to Seattle City Light Contact Us Page
Lighting Seattle since 1905 Jorge Carrasco, Superintendent
Ross Dam

Current
SCL News Releases

Since January 2003


Archived
SCL News Releases

Prior to January 2003


Seattle City Light Newsroom

City of Seattle News Releases

News Releases
   Logo of the City of Seattle, WA, USA   Seattle City Light

            News Release




Subject:   Bad Day for the Environment Says Seattle City Light
For Immediate Release:   
1/19/2007  8:30:00 AM
For More Information Contact:


Bad Day for the Environment Says Seattle City Light
5-4 ruling by State Supreme Court eliminates City Light's carbon offset program

SEATTLE Seattle City Light opposes todays ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court. In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled in Okeson v. City of Seattle that Seattle City Light can no longer use purchased carbon offsets in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions.

I am very disappointed in the courts ruling, states Jorge Carrasco, superintendent of City Light. They simply failed to understand the value of carbon offsets as a way to reduce climate change impacts here in Seattle. The courts action today removes an economically efficient tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

What the court doesnt realize, is a ton of CO2 emitted in Kentucky has the same impact as a ton of CO2 emitted in Seattle, says Lynn Best, director of environmental programs at City Light. Offsets are one of our lowest cost options to reduce greenhouse gases. Its a practice commonly used throughout the world to address carbon emissions.

A recent University of Washington study reported how climate change is impacting the Northwest directly. The researchers projected through their findings that global warming will result in increased flooding, more forest fires, continuing loss of snow pack and glaciers, and have further negative impacts on salmon populations. Snow pack and glacier loss directly hurts City Light, since 90% of the power distributed by City Light comes from hydroelectric dams.

Although City Light already avoids 630,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually from its own conservation programs and renewable energy purchases, approximately 150,000 tons of carbon offsets are purchased annually to achieve net zero carbon emissions.

City Light has taken a leadership role on greenhouse gas reduction. We were the first electric utility to achieve net zero emissions, continues Carrasco. We will continue our efforts moving forward. We understand the enormity of the impact global warming has on our own hydro resources and, ultimately, on our customers. This is an environmental problem of worldwide proportions and the court simply doesnt see it. This is a critical issue for our customers, our city, our state, our nation and the world and we plan to maintain our diligence.



- End -

Seattle City Light is a publicly owned utility dedicated to exceeding our customers' expectations in producing and delivering low cost, reliable power in an environmentally responsible and safe way. We are committed to delivering the best customer service experience of any utility in the nation.

Seattle City Light
 

Current
SCL News Releases

Since January 2003


Archived
SCL News Releases

Prior to January 2003


Seattle City Light Newsroom

City of Seattle News Releases

Click here for more contact information! Customer Service
Call (206) 684-3000


The Seattle City Light Web Team:

Seattle City Light -- 700 5th Avenue, Suite 3200, Seattle, WA 98104-5031 -- 206.684.3000
Mailing address: 700 5th Avenue, Suite 3200, P.O. Box 34023 Seattle, WA 98124-4023