December 16th, 2014: Senator Bob Hasegawa, Washington State Legislature, Olympia WA

Tuesday, December 16th at 12:30 PM • Port Townsend Community Center:

In December, Energy Lunch attendees heard from a strong Washington State voice for the creation of state chartered banking operations independent of Wall Street influence. The Key Speaker for the Energy Lunch Program was State Senator Bob Hasegawa of the 11th Senatorial District of Washington, which includes the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle. He will be sponsoring banking legislation that highlights the successful state-chartered Bank of North Dakota, and would create similar state banking operations in Washington.

The presentation by Senator Hasegawa on Tuesday, December 16th provided, to all those involved in new local energy activities, a glimpse of how successful financing of local energy development- already seen in Wildpoldsried, Germany -might be replicated with the immense renewable energy resources of Jefferson County in sun, wind, water, and biomass.

Senator Hasegawa states: “why should we let [a commercial bank] use taxpayer dollars to make money for itself [and] why don’t we create our own state-owned bank [where] the taxpayers will make the money for themselves lend[ing] it back into the community for public purposes like schools, water, and roads.”

A common concern among all of these new energy activities is money – money to sustain operations, money to cover program expenses, and money to finance one-time projects. This concern includes a view, verified in a Congressional report just two weeks ago, that national financial markets (i) unfairly support business as usual in established energy markets and (ii) discourage development of new, alternative, and local energy resources. A 402-page report issued on November 18, 2014 by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the U.S. Senate documents how three of the largest Wall Street banks, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan hold controlling positions in energy commodities such as coal, uranium, electric power, jet fuels, crude oil and natural gas while at the same time unfairly setting credit requirements and influencing decisions on financial backing for competing energy alternatives.


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