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Chutzpah award for 2018

The sale of Avista to Hydro One was denied by the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission, on the basis that the 47 percent owner of Hydro One, the province of Ontario, would have too much influence on Hydro One and hence Avista. They cited the new Ontario premier forcing the “retirement” of Hydro One’s CEO and the resignation of the entire board of directors.

Hydro One was partially privatized starting November 2015 in a manner intended to allow the Ontario provincial government to maintain control of Hydro One. They were to maintain 40 percent ownership and no other party could own more than 10 percent. There are explicit statements on YouTube by the former Ontario premier and a member of the provincial Parliament describing how Ontario would maintain control. The former premier also made a YouTube statement regarding the purchase of Avista as being an opportunity to extend Ontario green energy policies to “other jurisdictions”.

Avista is appealing the UTC decision, by saying that the Ontario government’s control of Hydro One is exaggerated.

The chutzpah of this appeal would be unexplainable but for the $50.5 million benefit to be shared by 13 Avista executives attendant to this sale.

Tom Horne

Nine Mile Falls

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