County Treasurer Invokes Coordination Process for Purchase of Avista

Above: Rob Chase filing a Notice of Invoking Coordination Process at the Spokane Office of the Washington State Attorney General.

Spokane County Treasurer Rob Chase announced on July 24th that he has posted watch, over the controversial acquisition of Avista, based in Spokane County, by Ontario’s HYDRO ONE.

The acquisition was headed home on the fast track until late last week when the CEO of HYDRO ONE was fired by Ontario’s newly elected Premier. In rapid succession, each of the 14 members of the Board of Directors resigned without stating cause. Idaho’s Public Utilities Commission immediately delayed its technical review of the merger which was set for yesterday, July 23 but has now been extended to December 15th.

On Friday past, Washington’s Utilities and Transportation Commission delayed its review until December. According to Chase: “The loss of the complete management team of HYDRO ONE makes it important that I take a watchful eye on the acquisition itself. By the terms of the acquisition, the control of the major Canadian partner is the government of Ontario. So we must be assured that there will be no setting of governmental priorities that take precedence over our residences and businesses.”

“My duties include financial management for the residents of Spokane County as well as for 80 local districts, including 19 school districts, 11 fire districts, 13 cities and towns and 5 legislative districts. We must assure ourselves that the foreign ownership by HYDRO ONE will not jeopardize the priority standing of our residents, governmental offices, and businesses, will not result in higher rates, and will not risk the cost of business-related litigation.”

“Pursuant to my duties as County Treasurer I have initiated the Coordination Process per the 1970 National Environmental Policy Act wherein Federal and State Agencies coordinate with local officials on an equal basis in matters that will have a major impact on local government.”

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