Letters to the Editor Natural gas rates are among lowest in state

The city of Enumclaw’s Natural Gas pricing is one of the more affordable rates in the state of Washington. Here is what I have recently discovered on a cost per therm basis including operations and maintenance cost for natural gas. Enumclaw $1.18 per therm, Ellensburg $1.22 per therm, Puget Sound Energy $1.24 per therm, Cascade Natural Gas $1.26 and Buckley $1.56 per therm.

A March 22 letter in the paper referenced that Puget Sound Energy provides natural gas at 89 cents per therm. That is not correct. Puget Sound Energy buys gas at 89 cents per therm and then sells it at $1.24 per therm after adding on operations and profits.

I would like to speak out in support of the city of Enumclaw gas company and its employees. Thank you for providing energy to our community at a “great rate” and for doing so safely since 1957. The city of Enumclaw operates one of the three municipality-owned gas companies in the state of Washington. I have never heard of the city of Enumclaw gas company having any explosions, fires or the continual smell of gas putting the citizens of Enumclaw in danger. I have personally called on our gas company for concerns I have had in the last year and the attention was prompt (the day of the call) and the employees were very helpful to resolve the issue.

It appears to me that the state of Washington is trying to pressure the city of Enumclaw to sell the city’s (our) gas company. The $12 million fine is the attempt by the cash-strapped state to make some hoped for easy money. The state of Washington has tried to take away our land rights through the CAO and now are trying to take away our locally-owned gas company. I hope the city leadership does not give any payment to the state and wrestles away the penalty and fees through the appeals process. I understand that our city gas company is working diligently to correct any outstanding issues and has hired the help they need to do so.

Some may make the argument that the city is not qualified to run a gas company. I disagree. Yes, we need to do better. I agree that we need to make the recommended improvements. Look at the resumes of those the city gas company and recent people hired on staff and you will find the expertise necessary to run this enterprise. There are small municipalities that run safely their own gas Writer missed point regarding city’s gas rates