Now, more than ever, the need for universal high-speed internet is clear. We are working from home and teaching our children. The PUD can and must expand broadband access throughout Snohomish County and Camano Island.
PUD electricity rates are down 40% and the PUD has hundreds of millions of dollars in reserves. Now is the time to lower rates and give a break to ratepayers.
Protecting our health and natural resources is a core value. Across Snohomish County and Camano Island we are lucky to have nearly 100% carbon-free energy. I will keep the PUD focused on clean renewable energy.
I will also insist on safe energy for our families. As your next PUD Commissioner, I will make oversight of our of our nuclear facilities a top priority.
The past three years just haven't been very productive for the needs of our rural areas. Power service is spotty and the internet is slow. High speed internet and stable power supply are absolute necessities for our businesses to thrive.
The PUD has a budget of $650 million dollars. The more the PUD can keep those dollars local, the better it is for our economy. That's why I'll direct the PUD to hire local companies whenever possible. It's time to put an end to the current bidding practices that harm our ratepayers.
With our communities so impacted by the pandemic, we have to look for ways to offer assistance to those who need it. As commissioner, I will continue current PUD low-income energy assistance programs, and search for ways the PUD help the most vulnerable in our community.