November 27, 2017
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Other News

'You'll still see the same Avista' after shareholders approve sale to Hydro One

By a 98 percent vote, Avista shareholders last week approved the sale of the company to Hydro One, a Canadian utility firm based in Toronto. Avista will continue to be headquartered in Spokane. Hydro One has committed to increasing Avista's charitable giving and continuing its role in local economic development initiatives, said Avista chairman and CEO Scott Morris.

“You’ll still see the same Avista,” Morris told a crowd of several hundred people during a community reception for Hydro One CEO Mayo Schmidt last week at the historic Davenport Hotel.

Avista, seeing consolidation as necessary in the increasingly competitive utility market, had looked at other companies, but chose Hydro One in part because its size made the acquisition a "merger of equals," Morris said.

The sale must still be approved by regulators, a process that is expected to take about nine months.

The Spokesman-Review covered the vote, and has this long look back at Avista's 128-year history and the forces that have been pushing for consolidation. Avista has more on the merger here.

Watch for AWB’s upcoming Washington Business magazine that features Morris, who discusses the Hydro One merger, Avista’s legacy of environmental stewardship and the innovative Urbanova smart-cities project in Spokane.

« Back to Main
Investments Denied

State regulatory agencies are killing our jobs

By John Stuhlmiller, Washington Farm Bureau, and Lee Newgent, Washington State Building & Construction Trades Council

The time has come to have "the talk" about Washington's economy and the role of government.

In a nutshell, it's not working.

For months now, regulatory agencies have been taking action that is basically killing jobs and private investment in our state. This has occurred in communities outside of Seattle and King County, where the economy has been slower to recover and tech jobs are few and far between...

In Longview, the Department of Ecology usurped five years of state regulatory process, denying Millennium Bulk Terminals a water quality permit for a proposed export terminal based on criteria wholly unrelated to water quality...

Another major regulatory hurdle interestingly also involving Ecology: the Hirst fix. This fight over water resources has held up the state's $4.2 billion capital budget for months now, putting construction for residential homes, K-12 schools and mental health facilities on hold -- along with the local jobs those projects create. This is to say nothing of the impact on rural landowners who find themselves with land, and wells, they cannot use.

Absent clarity from the state, this stalemate will likely drift on, leaving rural communities in the lurch...

Read the full op-ed in The Seattle Times
Necessary to Compete Overseas

America needs a strong Ex-Im Bank

By Meghan Milloy, director of financial services policy at American Action Forum

A fully functional Ex-Im Bank is important to strengthen American competitiveness abroad. There are 27 countries that require support from an export credit agency before they will even consider a bid from an international company.

When Congress allowed Ex-Im's authority to expire in 2015, General Electric announced that it was forced to move 500 jobs to France as a direct result of lost export credit agency support, as 80 percent of its total sales for aviation-related turbines came from those 27 countries over the past three years. Many of the commercial aircraft deals awarded to Airbus, in contrast, benefitted from France's export credit agency...

If U.S. companies do not have a fully functional Ex-Im Bank, barring them from competing for many projects in these major markets, we can expect to see more jobs move overseas.

For an administration with an "America first" agenda, it is imperative that the remaining board nominees be confirmed, and that Ex-Im has a president who will support sufficient levels of export credit to keep jobs and companies in the United States.

Read the full op-ed in The Hill
Upcoming Events