Chelan PUD Commissioner Garry Arsenault will represent the Chelan Public Utility District and 2,000 public power agencies on the Policy Makers Council.  The group advocates for public power to congress on issues like the Columbia River Treaty and power grid security.

Arsenault was appointed to replace fellow Chelan PUD Commissioner Randy Smith who retired from the Policy Makers Council after a 10 year stint.

"I'm honored to represent not only Chelan PUD, but all public power utilities across the nation" Arsenault in a press release earlier this month.  "There are several significant issues being discussed in our nation's capitol and it will be beneficial to have a seat at the table."

On KPQ's Agenda Program, Arsenault said the Policy Makers Council is talking to lawmakers about federal policy on electric vehicles and electrification, critical infrastructure, supply chain challenges, efforts to address climate change and transmission policy.  "The issues that face us (in Chelan County) are the same as the large utilities are addressing" said Arsenault.

As the country reduces carbon emissions and coal-fired power plants are shut down, how will hydropower, wind and solar fill the void for increased demand from ev's and building codes that outlaw carbon sources for heating or perhaps cooking?    Arsenault says one solution could lie in the 80,000 dams in the country where only a fraction are used for generating power and supply irrigation or water storage (reservoirs)   A portion of those dams could be converted into hydroelectric production with over 12,000 megawatts of capacity without constructing any new dams.

The Policy Makers Council is affiliated with the American Public Power Association (APPA) and Arsenault will serve as one of 45 officials from across the country.  Arsenault has served on the APPA since 2014 and is also the current president of the Washington Public Utility District Association.

Commissioner Arsenault said many of the issues for the Washington PUD Association are very similar to the issues at the federal level so the APPA and Policy Makers Council discussions benefit Chelan, Douglas and Grant County ratepayers.

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