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Opinion >  Letters

Nixed Avista sale a loss

Many seem to think, including Shawn Vestal, that the regulatory denial of the Avista-Hydro One approval is a good thing. I do not! Because Hydro One, as a Canadian company and foreign owner, would have been required to operate Avista as a separate U.S. subsidiary, which is good, meaning local management and board of directors, plus the headquarters would remain in Spokane. This also would have meant very few, if any, local job cuts.

The deal also included increased and continued financial support of nonprofits in the communities that Avista operates. Everyone involved in community service knows that Avista has been a very generous corporate citizen. Most likely, Avista will now sell to a large U.S.-based utility whose interests are not necessarily aligned with our local communities, meaning potential job cuts, reduced local decision-making and community support. Although I believe Avista management would try and craft a similar deal, they have a fiduciary responsibility to the shareholder, so a potential merger price may dictate the terms. Another potential loss for the community!

Tom Beil



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