Earlier this week, 350 Seattle sent the following letter to their members and supporters.
Larry Weis for CEO of Seattle City Light? No thank you.
The Seattle City Council is currently considering hiring Larry Weis to be the new CEO of Seattle City Light. Weis recently left a similar position at Austin Energy, the municipal utility provider in Austin, TX. He is also Mayor Murray’s nomination for the job.
We think that Seattle deserves a stronger leader on climate change than Larry Weis.
“Many of them did express a lot of frustration over your approach to issues of climate change,” said Kshama Sawant, in a recent Q&A between City Council members and Weis, where she told Weis her office had called several environmental groups in Austin to ask their opinions on Weis. “They all independently told my office that you advocated …for Austin Energy to build a 500 MW capacity natural gas power plant,” she said.
To give you an idea of the scale of that power plant, the entire City of Seattle uses an average of only 1000 MW of electricity. Ultimately, Austin environmental and climate justice groups opposed the building of the plant and it was blocked by City Council. But Larry Weis continued to advocate for it.
Furthermore, Larry Weis has been criticized heavily for his lackluster commitment to solar. “Solar can not replace natural gas-fired power plants today. It is the other way around. …Solar is a good thing. The [Austin Energy] taskforce wants too much of a good thing.”
The people of Seattle own Seattle City Light. Therefore the new CEO must be someone who represents our values. A CEO who advocates for the building of a huge natural gas power plant and opposes the growth of solar is not someone who represents our values.
We urge you to attend the upcoming public hearing and voice your thoughts that Seattle City Light deserves a better environmental leader than Larry Weis.
Where: Council Chambers, Seattle City Hall, 600 4th Avenue
When: Wednesday, February 17th 2016, 6:00 p.m
What: Public Comment Hearing for appointment of Larry Weis as new CEO of Seattle City Light
If you are unable to attend the hearing, you can submit your comment online here.
To help inform your comment we recommend watching this video from the 1 hour 9 minute mark.
But that’s not all that’s happening in Council Chambers that evening. The Delta 5 will also be presenting to the Energy & Environment Committee on the impacts of climate change, the hazards of oil trains, and the need for civil disobedience to meet these challenges. Please turn out to show your support for them as well!
Thanks for everything you do,