The Washington Department of Commerce has named 27 members to a committee to help the state update its energy strategy following Clean Energy Transformation Act (CETA), which state legislators passed in 2019.

The law requires utilities to move away from fossil-fuel energy resources and have 100 percent clean energy portfolios by 2045. It includes some flexibility to rate shocks and service interruptions (CU No. 1910 [16]).

Issues to be addressed include ensuring competitive energy prices, fostering a clean energy economy, and meeting greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Commerce released the names Jan. 7, ahead of the committee's first meeting on Jan.10. Meetings are open to the public and more information is available on Commerce's energy strategy webpage. Committee members include:

  • George Caan, Washington Public Utility Districts Association executive director
  • Jason Campbell, Sovereign Power CEO
  • Sen. Reuven Carlyle, Environment, Energy and Technology Committee chairman
  • Reeves Clippard, A&R Solar CEO
  • Dave Danner, Washington UTC chairman
  • Rep. Beth Doglio, Environment and Energy Committee member
  • Kathleen Drew, Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council chairwoman
  • Will Einstein, Puget Sound Energy director of product development and growth
  • Martin Gibbins, League of Women Voters water issues head
  • Deric Gruen, Front and Centered program director
  • Matt Harris, Washington State Potato Commission assistant executive director
  • Nancy Hirsch, NW Energy Coalition executive director
  • Nicole Hughes, Renewable Northwest executive director
  • Paul Jewell, Washington State Association of Counties policy director
  • Dan Kirschner, Northwest Gas Association executive director
  • Kent Lopez, Washington Rural Electric Cooperative Association general manager
  • Bruce Martin, WestRock Tacoma energy resource manager
  • Patrick Oshie, one of Washington's Northwest Power and Conservation Council members
  • Clay Norris, Tacoma Power management officer
  • Rebecca Ponzio, Washington Environmental Council climate and fossil fuel program director
  • Chris Roe, Amazon senior operations manager
  • Sen. Tim Sheldon, Environment, Energy and Technology Committee assistant ranking member
  • Jessica Spiegel, Western States Petroleum Association's Northwest Region director
  • Dan Wilson, United Steelworkers Local 338 president
  • Rep. Alex Ybarra, Washington Legislature member

Two more people, representing cities and natural gas distribution companies, will round out the 27 committee members. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee will appoint a committee member to lead the group.

In November, Commerce and WUTC set up a 20-person work group to help officials better understand how wholesale electricity markets could be affected by CETA (CU No. 1929 [8.2]). The agencies must adopt rules for implementing CETA by June 2022.

Contributing Editor

Dan has covered stories from Seattle to Tbilisi; spent time with the AP, Everett Daily Herald and Christian Science Monitor; and was twice a member of a team nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He and his wife have three young children and live in Seattle.