Commentary: A green energy grid is a must for the future

This editorial appeared in The (Tacoma) News Tribune.

Congressman Jay Inslee didn't get the nod for interior secretary this week, but that’s OK. The Northwest sure could use him in Congress when it comes time to craft a federal infrastructure package.

The lawmaker from Bainbridge Island is one of the chief champions of expanding the Northwest power transmission system. His advocacy of clean, renewable energy could help the Northwest nab stimulus dollars to fund the modern-day equivalent of the New Deal-era hydroelectric dams.

Inslee and others want to use this region to demonstrate how to bring the nation's electrical distribution into the 21st century by connecting remote power generation to population centers.

The existing power grid has served the region well for decades, but increased demand and development of wind power has the system stretched to its limits.

Developers of wind power have flocked to eastern Washington and Oregon not just for the gusty weather. Power-generating dams nearby ensure an abundance of high-voltage transmission lines; they also can ramp up quickly when the wind doesn't show.

To read the complete editorial, visit The (Tacoma) News Tribune.