December 15, 2014
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Columbia Generating Station turns 30

The Columbia Generating Station marked 30 years of public power generation on Saturday. Since it came online three decades ago, the Northwest’s only nuclear power plant has energized the electrical grid with more than 214,000,000 megawatt-hours. Ninety-two Northwest utilities receive power from the Columbia Generating Station.

While its 30th birthday on Saturday was a big deal, the Columbia Generating Station -- the Pacific Northwest’s only nuclear power plant -- is also celebrating another milestone. The Richland power plant is currently on its longest continuous operating run, more than 530 days of power generation. The plant has also gone more than five years since an unplanned shutdown.

Energy Northwest, the utility consortium that owns the plant, notes that this carbon-free, reliable and cost-effective power station has 30 more years of operating life to go.



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CAN WE AFFORD IT?

Budget 101: State employee pay raises 'financially feasible'?

By Rob McKenna, Smarter Government Washington

Under state law, any collectively bargained pay raises and benefit increases for state employees must be declared "financially feasible for the state" by the Office of Financial Management (OFM). While this review sounds like a good idea, it isn't useful if OFM chooses to willfully ignore reality so that it can give its stamp of approval.

That's the situation the state currently finds itself in. The Governor's Office negotiated pay and benefit hikes with state employee unions, and OFM has declared the new costs to be financially feasible "considering the state's obligations...in combination with the current and forecasted economic and revenue conditions for Washington.

Apparently OFM considers the McCleary education funding case to be mere detail...

READ MORE: Click here for the full commentary at Smarter Government Washington
WHAT WORKS

State can move forward on transportation -- by looking back

By Sen. Curtis King

Amid all the finger-pointing and half-truths regarding the Legislature's alleged failure to pass and fund a transportation plan, a glance back at the 2003 "nickel package" provides the best tutorial on how to successfully get a transportation-revenue package through the Legislature and to the governor's desk. The themes from over a decade ago run startlingly parallel to today.

READ MORE: Click here for the full commentary in Crosscut
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