Featured

Honor, Valor, Sacrifice

HONOR – VALOR – SACRIFICE

In remembrance, I hope you will join me in the reflection of the incredible sacrifice that has made our nation strong and unwavering in the face of war. The brave men and women that lay at rest have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedom we hold dear, to speak freely and express our beliefs, disagree with one another and still remain resolute in the face of those who seek to defeat our way of life.

Indeed the very founding of our nation set the stage of freedom, as you reflect on the white marble head stones and those who have gone unaccounted for in wars past you realize that more than just treasure has been spent, the blood of our warriors should be held in precious esteem, if not for their courage our lives may have been very different today.

Please reach out to our active and retired veterans and their families, let them know we care and honor them, all gave some, some gave all!

God bless the men, women and families of our military.

Featured

Education, it’s Time for a Renaissance!

ACTIONS

  • Institute full funding of Career and Technical Education (CTE).
  • Consolidate CTE training to include all 295 school districts in the state to take full advantage of private sector job opportunities at graduation.
  • Invest in first year teacher salaries.

BENEFITS

  • Reduced drop out rate.
  • Closing of the income gap.
  • Increased involvement for young women in Science and Engineering.
  • Closure of the racial learning gap.
  • A strong economic outlook for Washington State.
  • Strengthen Business and Industry in Washington.

FINDING THE PATH FORWARD

Education touches everything we do and provides the path to the future. It is vital that we solve our educational issues so that we can move forward with our society and take advantage of opportunities that are before us. This is not going to be easy and will not happen over night, it took a while to get to this point, however, where others see dead ends I see many opportunities. I see an opportunity to close the education gap, close the wage gap, bridge the racial gap, all while stabilizing funding for education, tall order I know, the education can has been kicked down the road for so long now it is time to stomp on the can and stop kicking it!

Please read on to see how my plan incorporates common sense with real world need to stop the erosion of education, soften the burden on tax payers, support and strengthen our private sector and provide meaningful opportunities for our young adults.

Boiling the frog -

Washington has been on a slow downward spiral for many years and now we have reached critical mass where we need to bring our education system back up to the top and modernize it in order to maximize our bang for our buck invested. According to the Graduation and Dropout Statistics Annual Report generated from the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, Washington States graduation rate was 80.9% according to the 2019 report, , 65% graduation rate for low income students, and 61.7% percent for Native American students.

According to the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction or OSPI, only 48.9% met Math Standards and 46.7% Met Science Standards with an average $12,811.00 Per-Pupil Expenditure.

Obviously, from the start these are alarming numbers and indicate bigger issues than just funding and we are going nowhere fast by not properly preparing young adults coming out of high school who are looking to enter the job market.

After years of experiance in and around aerospace and technical manufacturing, I can tell you first hand that one of the common concerns from the business arena is there are not enough trained individuals to fill current openings as well as replace the aging workforce as they retire. The interesting thing about this comment is it is happening across the United States not just here in Washington which means there will be fierce competition for skilled workers now and well into the future. With Washington as a leader in aerospace manufacturing and development we are starting to see erosion in this area as the Southeastern United States competes for high tech companies such as Boeing, be it large major component factories or an O-Ring manufacturer the story is the same, where will the future employees come from?

Now couple this shortage dilemma with the drop out rate and look at all the lost opportunity. Young people drop out of school for various reasons boredom, loss of direction, and often with low income families the desire to help support the families income needs with no hope of higher learning opportunities.

Let’s Turn This Trend Around!

Through CTE training and employer internships beginning with 10th, 11th, and 12th grades across the state we can turn these statistics around by engaging with all students on their way to a early career path. By the time they graduate they can move into a well paying job with skills that will last them a lifetime. Certainly, many students will move into a 2 or 4 year higher education track right after graduation but many will not and will choose to enter into the workforce. Industries around Washington state are anxious for new employees, with so many positions going unfilled due to a lack of qualified workers, these industries are willing to participate in a program such as this.

Part of my vision for Education Renaissance includes Micro-Credentialing for students by the time they leave high school. Micro-Credentialing is not meant to supplant full credentialing but rather provide a solid foundation for young adults to be able to enter into the workforce with a proficient skill level to attain a well paying entry level job. The concept of Micro-Credentialing is not new, however, establishing it as a state wide program is, and it provides many opportunities for our education sector to partner with industry with the ultimate outcome benefiting the student. Many of the entry level jobs have pay scales starting at $35,000.00 up to $50,000.00 annually.

Many companies offer higher learning opportunities as part of the hiring package to round out their workforce and ensure employees reach their full potential. This is an important point in that low income students will then be able to compete for well paid, entry level work with opportunities in advanced education they could not achieve on their own due to cost. Now breaking the poverty cycle becomes real and most attainable.

Implementation

My belief is that this programing can quickly be implemented in stages in the first quarter of 2021. The 2016 Senate kicked the can down the road to 2017 which essentially cost a year of progress in turning things around and choose to continue to “study” the issue. I, on the other hand, am not waiting but rather laying the ground work and seek to use the horsepower of the Lieutenant Governor's office as a focal point to get this job moving, we simply cannot fail to get this job done!

Parts of the wheel don't have to be reinvented just expanded and implemented through the Washington Workforce Board, where training combines classroom instruction with paid, on-the-job training under the supervision of a journey-level craft person or trade professional, this becomes part of the curriculum. The apprenticeships are governed by the Washington State Apprenticeship and Training Council and administered by the Department of Labor and Industries. By implementing this framework state wide with the school system and industry, half of the work is already done saving valuable time. An important set of statistics that has been accumulated through the Workforce Board is that for every dollar invested in this type of programing the return to the taxpayer is twenty three dollars per one dollar invested in projected additional lifetime taxes paid by a participant, plus the reduction in costs of unemployment insurance. Additionally, there is a projected $91 to $1 return to the participants lifetime earnings meaning this potential over time would be an incredible opportunity to break the earnings and poverty gap, put more money into the state economy, increase tax revenue without artificially raising taxes, and for once stabilize education funding, easing the tax burden on the taxpayer.

Another intended benefit of my plan will contribute to the McCleary decision education funding shortfall estimated to require $4 billion to correct. My position is by engaging education and Washington's business and industry there will be a tangible contribution that will carve away at the funding issue. Employee shortage has been an issue for years, what an incredible opportunity we can work together on and succeed.

Teachers are Rock Stars!

Our teachers have a tough and important job in our society. Unfortunately, when the issues become so politically charged as they have been the teachers lose their voice in all of the political noise. We need to return them to Rock Star status for the job they do, without good teachers our education system would continue to falter no matter how much money you pumped into the system. Like the other pieces to this education puzzle the protection of teaching positions needs to be addressed, just as we are seeing shortages in other professions so goes the possibility of maintaining teachers that rise to the task of training our children.

We can support our teachers with fair compensation, currently base pay for new teachers is $34,048 annually. In order to remain competitive and retain new teachers the compensation needs to be increased incrementally by at least 30% for Washington to remain competitive in retaining new teachers, roughly $22.5 million per year. Additionally, compensation adjustments should be implemented for years 2 through 5 as teachers progress in their career.

Charter Schools are not the enemy!

Charter Schools are not the enemy, Charter schools are funded based on student enrollment, similar to traditional public schools. When a student transfers from a traditional public school to a public charter school, the funding associated with that student follows him or her to the public charter school. Public charter schools do not add any new costs to the state’s public education system. They simply move funding associated with a student from one public school to another based upon the decisions of family rather than the state.

Charter Schools provide another opportunity in that they provide high-quality educational services to students with various learning needs and effective in benefiting low-income students, students from communities of color and English-language learners.

Charter Schools should remain under local control of elected School Boards to ensure accountability and meet the states constitutional requirements since it involves public funds.

Parent Partnership Program

This is an outstanding program that melds Home Schooling with Public Education, I am a little biased on this issue because my children are involved with this program through the Snohomish School District, basically how this works is students K-11 attend Public School 1 time per week and the remainder of the school weeks education takes place in the home under a predetermined and approved curriculum that meets Public Education Standards but also allows students to explore other areas of interest.

This melding of Home Schooling and Public Education allows greater parental involvement and still supports the Public Education system and our teachers. The teachers involved in this program are some of the most wonderful teachers you will find, they are committed to quality education and spark the imagination and interest of the students and I fully support expansion of programs such as this, it has been a wonderful option and the students love it, in my view it is Public Education at its best!

 

Resources:

http://www.k12.wa.us/LegisGov/2015documents/GradandDropoutStats2015.pdf

http://www.gradnation.org/report/2015-building-grad-nation-report?_ga=1.84908697.1696974871.1456689654

http://www.wtb.wa.gov/Apprenticeship2015dashboard.asp

http://www.columbian.com/news/2014/apr/01/as-grads-seek-work-trade-jobs-go-unfilled/

http://www.k12.wa.us/Communications/HotTopics/HotTopic-McCleary.pdf

Transportation

Transportation – Washington on the move!

What comes to mind when you hear the word transportation? For most it conjures up frustration, waste, overruns, grid lock, lost productivity.

Now when you get specific and talk to folks about the failed tunnel project in Seattle, which met with delay after delay, not to mention incredible cost over runs! total grid lock on I-405 and all of the deferred maintenance, not to mention the still failing bridges you really hear the anger start to come out, and with good reason, the lack of direction and no real plan by Olympia is a real issue and growing by the day.

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This photo of the Eells Street/Pacific Highway bridge was taken in 2016, this bent up, damaged, rusting hulk was just south of the Port of Tacoma, (Port cranes visible in the background in photo on the left) this heavily traveled bridge spanned the Puyallup river, this route carries heavy traffic. Fortunately it is in the process of a total rebuild, but what about the other failing bridges around our state?

You might recall back in May of 2013 that the Skagit River bridge collapsed when a oversized load being towed by a truck struck a girder causing structural failure, it appears this bridge in Tacoma was been struck numerous times and 3 years after the I-5 incident this bridge was still in disrepair, this bridge carried an incredible amount of vehicles and trucks per day, one can imagine the economic impact if this bridge had failed, not only to the City of Tacoma but to the state as a whole should commerce be impacted, lack of coordination seems to be an issue between our states leadership and working on important issues such as these examples, this should be of the utmost importance, unfortunately money being squandered on a failed tunnel project and other high cost projects appears to be eating up reserves that could go to help our communities and protect our economic vitality of our current roadway inventory.

When government places a strangle hold on funding through poor planning and ill fated projects we all pay, Republicans and Democrats alike are all victims to the disastrous policy that has plagued the Washington State Department of Transportation, the hard working rank and file that are the backbone of our states transportation system are going without pay increases that would at least keep them in step with inflation, but money is being poured into cost overruns by the truck load and those in state government who support and have supported the ill fated projects are coming back for more. it is time to reorganize this approach, bolster our state workers and move money into preventative maintenance to preserve the inventory of roads that we have if we are going to have any success on funding future projects.

The Washington Office of Financial Management estimates that the state population grew by over 93,000 in 2014-2015, as of 2018 it grew by 117,300 further taxing and exacerbating the transportation system, this influx in new residents largely settled in areas of the Puget Sound.

Road to success 

This may be more than you ever wanted to know about pavement and concrete, however, I want to give an idea of methods available and technology that can be used to maintain our road system, target costs and rely on the talented men and women of the WSDOT to get the job done. My belief is if you are informed on the subject then you will know what to look for when discussing the issue with family, friends and politicians, we need to politically get out of the way and let the WSDOT Engineers and boots on the ground road crews do what they do best, keep our roads open and safe!

As I travel the states roads one thing is very apparent, the amount of deferred maintenance, just the Washington state highway system consists of approximately 7000 miles of asphalt and concrete surfaces, many, many miles of it require maintenance, it appears that we are falling further and further behind in the endeavor. I have experienced many years of oversight of various aspects of pavement and concrete maintenance, so much so that I am confident in saying with todays strides forward in methods to maintain these surfaces we need a redoubled effort to get preventative maintenance under control, if we cannot and do not address this issue the problem will only grow and become incredibly expensive to revive. Couple this with the need to add additional inventory and it represents a monumental endeavor.

Preventative measures 

Fortunately these days technology is on our side where road surfaces can be rapidly scanned with 3D scanning and Light Detection And Ranging (or LIDAR) this equipment helps to quickly scan a road surface and detect areas where targeted maintenance needs to occur, this is important because with this scan method one can target the areas that require maintenance and rapidly evaluate which areas can be postponed. With this method employed fairly precise costs can be developed to target the worst areas first. The ability to be able to estimate for budgeting now comes in to play as the transportation budget is developed, one can gauge with confidence what the preventative costs will be.

WSDOT conducts Pavement Condition Indexing or PCI, the PCI generates a rating on the pavement surface, this PCI coupled with the 3D and LIDAR can give you a pretty conclusive picture of where dollars need to be spent. We need to bring cities and counties in to the mix so that we have a comprehensive and wholistic look at regional transportation needs and not just focus on mega projects and delays, crack sealing, chip seal paving and topical sealants to extend road life will help stretch already thin budget margins.

Road bed stabilization is the foundation to a good road, that is why from time to time you see crack seal operations, the black bands of material that squiggle all over a roadway is intended to reseal the cracks caused be age and wear, this crack seal material helps as a stop gap measure to try to keep water out of the pavement layers and road sub base. if the base is compromised the use of a  environmentally friendly injectable process helps cut the costs almost in half, this method reduces down time of a roadway to a minimum and does not require an entire tear out and rebuilding of a roadway sub base, as an added savings once the road bed is brought back to stability often asphalt overlay costs are reduced due to less material required to rehab the surface course (or wear course)  which comes in to contact with your vehicle.

So, next time you are stuck in traffic look out at the road surface and see for yourself what conditions you see, are there cracks in the pavement or cement? is there missing aggregate creating the start of a pothole? the more informed you are the better the result will be as we reform our priorities to keep Washington moving!

Sources:

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Bridge/Reporting/BridgeRatings.htm
http://www.ofm.wa.gov/pop/april1/poptrends.pdf

Home Safe Partnership Program

The Looming Washington State Housing Crisis

Covid 19 doesn’t care if you are a Democrat, Republican, or Independent. It doesn’t care about your ethnicity, whether you’re a man or woman, old or young. It does’t care about you, your family, or your financial wellbeing; it just doesn’t care. It’s here to wreak havoc where ever it can get a foothold and that is why WE have to stick together. We have to take care of each other because together we will beat it, and together we will come out stronger for it!

I don’t believe in crisis politics for the sake of adding to the hysteria surrounding the Covid 19 crisis where so many of our family, friends, and neighbors who are unemployed with no definitive end in sight are hanging on by a thread. I, for one cannot stand by and watch when there is a workable solution to keep families in their homes and apartments. Issues such as these are exactly why I am running for Lieutenant Governor. It’s time to find solutions to Washingtonians most pressing problems and they have to be carefully executed. After all, failure to plan is a plan for failure; as the great Wayne Gretzky said – “You don’t skate to where the puck is, you skate to where the puck is going to be.

In light of the above advice, we already have a history to look back on as recent as the 2008 housing crisis. While you may say this is a different situation and that the bloated, overheated housing market was fueled by greed, and I would be inclined to agree with this, the difference is that greed has been replaced by fear and when you add fear to the fire you’re looking at a possible crash like 2008 on steroids. 

Let’s look at how a mortgage loan works.

Borrower goes to a loan originator for a loan >> When closed it goes to a Servicer >> The Servicer does not “own” the loan but is more of a conduit for “maintaining” the loan >> The borrower sends payment through the Servicer >> Servicer forwards payment to the investor minus taxes, insurance etc. (Hence the term Servicer) >> The loans are sold to an Aggregator or direct to Fannie Mae, Ginne Mae Freddie Mac >> The loan is bundled in to a large group and sent off to an Investment Banker >> Investment Banker converts the loans in to a Mortgage Backed Security which is then sold to the public >> The end product shows up in Mutual Funds and Retirement Accounts.

So, what’s the difference between then and now?

Simply put, 2008 was a situation where the housing and financial crisis was due, in large part, by private lending and lax regulation. The usage of predatory loans in the subprime markets and repackaging of risky loans created a house of cards that took years to dig out from under.

In this situation, the Covid 19 virus is the culprit. it has reached around the globe, into every household, potentially wreaking incredible havoc if we don’t act to head off the coming wave of tanking credit scores due to forbearance. As a nation we went from one of the strongest housing and real-estate markets in 2019, to the tune of 3 trillion dollars, to a full stop in a matter of weeks. Housing construction abruptly stopped causing a backup in the flow of employment, supplies, and real-estate transactions; not to mention what this does to the financial pipeline that keeps this industry moving. 

Where are we?

As of the first quarter of 2020 there is an estimated 5.5 trillion dollars in process of being refinanced in the mortgage system. Jumbo loans are non-existent and in most cases, a minimum credit score of at least 640 is required. Let all of that sink in before we move on; that is a colossal set of circumstance to bring to a screeching halt! But wait, theres more. In order to qualify for a loan, one of the requirements is to provide employment verification. We’re currently looking at a 20 to 30 percent unemployment rate in Washington. This leaves lenders in a incredible hedge loss with no loan servicing income. 

A word about the Forbearance Program.

I am not a financial advisor; your personal situation is for you to decide but it is worth exploring this program and the unintended consequences should it further rock the markets. This program sounds good on the surface but in the financial markets it’s viewed as missed payments. Three missed payments typically means foreclosure begins in or around month four. With each missed loan payment, your credit will take a hit and a vicious cycle may begin. At the end of the three months you must come up with the arrears you owe or face foreclosure.

Jumbo Loans

Some may say, “Muh, Jumbo loan issues don’t effect me.”  Perhaps not immediately however, when valuation is placed on properties through the use of these comps, (or comparisons), that’s when you may take notice. Comps work for the seller and the buyer. If you’re selling, your realtor is most likely basing the asking price from surrounding comps, with the buyer looking at those same comps. Let’s bring it back to Jumbo loans that were procured in a “Hot Market”. If people seeking Jumbo loans can’t receive financing and those looking to sell can’t sell due to funding issues then the downward cycle begins.  Appreciation evaporates as does the equity, causing a ripple effect as the comps trend down through the market ending up at your door step.

Where do we go from here?

The very real domino effect here is a piling on of yet more homelessness on a potentially staggering scale. In my view, we need a mechanism to first, and foremost defend home owners and renters to keep them in their homes. This needs to happen now before we are too far out of alignment with the various revenue streams that are vital to lubricate the system to achieve the maximum results by creating a Home Safe Partnership. Here’s how that would work.

The Plan

Step 1

A series of immediate cash injections to Washington State Housing Finance Commission from the Washington State Tax Surplus to home owners with mortgage payments.

Step 2

A series of cash injections overseen by Washington State Housing Finance Commission flows to Wellspring Family Services. Why Wellspring Family Services? Because they already have a network in place to quickly help with these types of issues and are already established with many employers in Washington State. However, this would be open to anyone needing rent assistance.

How the funds would be distributed

$200 million to offset the forbearance shortfall to mitigate the further downward spiral of home owners. This program would be available to unemployed homeowners and homeowners who may have lost income from an unemployed significant other and would assist as an offset of lost income that would have gone toward the cost of mortgage payments. Proof of unemployment would be required.

$100 million to offset the Second Mortgage market for unemployed homeowners to offset the forbearance shortfall and mitigate the further downward spiral of homeowners. This program would be available to unemployed homeowners and homeowners who may have lost income from an unemployed significant other to assist in offset of lost income that would have gone toward the cost of housing payments. Proof of unemployment would be required.

$50 million to unemployed renters toward past due rent payments to offset the further downward spiral of the renter’s market. This program would be available to unemployed renters  and renters who may have lost income from an unemployed significant other to assist in offset of lost income that would have gone toward cost of housing payments. Proof of unemployment would be required.

The Washington State Housing Finance Commission was chosen because of their extensive experience in assisting homeowners, renters, and builders through their existing network to quickly infuse the allocated funds into the system. This would also be of benefit since the WSHFC is an existing public entity and currently underutilized. Couple this with their relationship with Master Servicer’s and it completes the package.

According to their Mission Statement, “The Washington State Housing Finance Commission is a publicly accountable, self-supporting team, dedicated to increasing housing access and affordability and to expanding the availability of quality community services for the people of Washington.”

Additionally, and here is the important non-partisan approach, the Washington State Housing Finance Commission is overseen by a Commission and an Executive Team. The Commission is appointed by the Governor of the State of Washington.

With the possibility of a second round of Covid 19, (and potentially even a third round), looming in the near future, now is the time to be proactive and put the Home Safe Partnership program in place. Imagine the relief that could come to families knowing they can weather the storm of Covid 19 and not have to worry about losing their homes.

Best Regards,

Bill Penor

Sources:

The Institutional Risk Analyst

MBSHighway.com

RACE; CHARACTER NOT COLOR

RACE – Character over COLOR

In 2016 President Obama declared that we are going to pursue the end to cancer, I applaud this lofty goal for such a horrible disease, however there is another form of cancer that is equally as destructive to the fabric of society in which we all live and that is racism.

As we know the United States has had its dark days in the past with the issue of slavery, fortunately the good prevailed with the abolishment of the despicable practice, as our nation grew over the following 100 years race once again became a issue which brought with it riots, hatred and death in the 60’s, America once again became divided on the issue of racism and now in present time we see glimpses of the shadowy past in the form of racial tension attempting to sneak back in to our society.

It is estimated that there are approximately 280,000 black Washingtonians, in addition to being our friends and neighbors they are also Americans entitled to the right of living without fear in a lawful society, it should be up to all of us who believe in liberty and justice to lock arms with our fellow citizens and continue to beat back the tentacles of despair and move forward in lockstep as friends and neighbors to ensure that the rising tide lifts all boats.

It is estimated that the average median household income for African-American families in Washington is $18,000 less than the state average and 35 percent of black children are living in poverty, I believe education will play a direct role in breaking this cycle, through my plan for a education renaissance we have the opportunity to close the great divide of the wage gap and provide an even playing field for ALL young people regardless of their race.

Dr. King had a dream, and if you have the chance please look up Dr. Kings speech, if ever those words were relevant they are still resonating in today’s world and indeed here in our cities and towns, those words really apply to all of us equally, when you read the words contained in the “I Have A Dream” speech it is what we should be striving for, learning from the past and building a positive future for all citizens in Washington state.

As the grandfather of 2 very young black children I often wonder what their future will hold 20 years from now, perhaps this is a selfish interest of mine but it is past time to stamp out the last remnants of racism, dig out that cancerous act wherever it might be found, Hispanic, Asian, Black, White until we are resolute in meeting this issue head on none of us will be free.

As Lt. Governor I intend to use the office as a tool to shed light on the issues surrounding racism and equality, imagine the power we can generate by working together toward this common goal. I hope you will join me in this endeavor!

I have a dream………..

Please share with me your thoughts on this subject

https://www.archives.gov/press/exhibits/dream-speech.pdf

Sustainable Energy

Sustainable Energy

Oil and Coal are currently king on the energy markets, depending on your source of information oil and coal may be limited in their days as the primary source of energy, some estimates say we could begin to see a sharp decrease in oil as soon as 2025 due to current worldwide consumption rates, current Natural Gas deposits may last 50 years, coal on the other hand is very plentiful as is Shale however with global warming causing climate change they too may not be viable options for the future.

The state has been under pressure to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) for sometime, in fact the issue is at the boiling point with environmental groups and to the point where lawsuits are emerging over the issue, that is why I predict the next “McCleary” to be over the environment.

Sustainable energy is a subject that has gained in popularity over the years, now with years of research and development as well as technological advances in reliability many options are available and several other options on the horizon that appear promising. Now is the time to pursue green power and renewables while we have the luxury of time to prepare for our future energy needs for our state.

My approach to energy solutions is to maintain an open mind and approach the future in a wholistic way since there are broad options to pursue and all viable, from the more familiar solar, geo thermal and Bio Fuel to the not so familiar Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor, protection of our environment is paramount as we increase the demands on energy consumption as our state grows.

Let’s get started!! read on for my ideas on sustainable power for our great state.

Creation of a Sustainable Energy Development Campus

My vision on the future of energy in Washington is the holistic approach involves the development of a working Sustainable Energy Development Campus where green power technologies can be advanced on various levels through Public/Private partnerships, a campus such as this would involve several environmentally friendly power generating methods each actively supplying power back to the grid to offset campus cost and achieve a return on investments by the private sector.

A large portion of this campus is envisioned to be think tank tied to a network of Washington state colleges and universities to better the technology and act as a working campus for students and apprentice training for individuals who are seeking a career in energy to further Washington State as a leader in the development of sustainable energy, this ties to my vision of education by hands on learning opportunities, (Please also take a look at my views on the subject of Education in the State of Washington)

The failed Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS) site located close to Aberdeen, WA would be a fitting site for development into a working E-ARC or Energy Alternative Research Campus. This is the site of the failed WPPSS Nuclear power plant that was not completed due to lack of funding and politics, the vision is to raise a sustainable energy campus for research and development of new Green Energy in the shadows of the cooling towers which are now a monument to failed policy, planning and vision.

ENERGY IDEAS TO PURSUE

Biogas/Biomass

This method of fuel production has been in use in limited areas of the world by turning farm animal waste and wood/vegetation waste into clean burning Methane gas which is clean burning with no emissions, with Biomass the residue left over from combustion is organic and suitable to add to topsoil mix and recycled back in to the environment.

Forest biomass would not include wood from old growth forests, wood that is protected as habitat under the DNR’s 1997 Trust Lands Habitat Conservation Plan, or any required to be left onsite under the state Forest Practices rules. Biomass also does not include any treated wood or wood that otherwise might contain chemicals such as creosote. Since wood for Biomass would have a value for power generation it is likely that more trees would be planted and more forested areas created to help sustain biomass generation in the future from downed trees and limbs, this would be a great advantage to our local environment, a tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, and one ton of carbon dioxide by the time it reaches 40 years old.

Biofuels are not the end all and be all as there are some limitations surrounding biofuels, however biofuels can play a large part in the wholistic approach to cleaner energy production as being another piece to the puzzle of sustainable energy as well as support and augment income for farmers in the state of Washington.

Biomass Energy plants are cheap to construct and would be financed through Private/Public Partnerships and strategically placed in several locations around the state to assist in affordable energy production and create job opportunities.

LFTR – Liquid Fluride Thorium Reactor
We are currently blessed with an abundance of cheap and existing Hydro-electric energy, this method of productionDuring World War 2 the Hanford site in eastern Washington became part of the Manhattan Project in the race for the bomb and Plutonium production, during the race to create the bomb Uranium, during this arms race one of the methods looked at was the Liquid Fluride Thorium Reactor or LFTR process, the issue with this process was that you could not create weapons grade bombs out of it so it was passed over, however it was briefly pursued as a sustainable energy producer. After WWII since there was a new demand for energy due to the post war expansion and scientists were very familiar with the Nuclear creative process, and of course there were politics involved, the nation pursued Nuclear power as we know it to be today, HOWEVER, there is a alternative to this Nuclear power that is in use today and yes, it is still very political, but LFTR is worth pursuing especially since advancements have been made in technology.

One of the issues that continues to be a issue is the corrosive nature of the LFTR process, but strides forward in new materials show promise toward solving this issue, China and India currently have scientists working at a feverish pace based on the promise of this cheap, reliable, green method of sustainable power, it is speculated that China has over 300 scientists working non-stop to get this method of energy up and running. Here in Washington state we have some of the brightest minds and strong corporations that if we pursue this technology with vigor Washington state can once again lead the nation and indeed the world down a path of clean, sustainable and green power that could change the way we think of reactive power generation.

With uncertainty of the environments ability to react to other power production methods and unknown climate change that may effect water usage in Washington, NOW is the time to invest and challenge Science and Industry to meet this goal. Additionally, coupled with my Education plan this would act as a spring board for our young adults desiring to pursue a career in green, sustainable energy, we will need new young minds to bring ideas and advancements forward to bring this to reality and sustain it long into the future (see my Education page for more information).

Companies such as TerraPower founded by Bill Gates and based right here in Washington is conducting research in the redesign of Nuclear power with a focus on safety and bringing clean energy to the market, Traveling Wave Reactor Technology and Molten Chloride Fast Reactor Technology are just 2 examples of energy innovation that have a promising future.

SUM IT UP

With population growth in Washington expected to continue to grow more demands on our energy resources will also grow, this includes our business and industry sector, in order for continued uninterrupted growth we need alternative energy options now.

Sources;
carboncounted.co.uk
Sewdishbigas/YouTube.com
www.dnr.wa.gov
https://www.americanforests.org/discover-forests/tree-facts/