About Chom Greacen

An energy researcher living on Lopez Island and a member of Islands Energy Coalition, volunteer-based group of energy enthusiasts interested in a happy, resilient energy future for the San Juan Islands

“Growler” Draft Environmental Impact Statement: The Emperor Has No Clothes Deadline for comments on Jan. 25

–from Chom Greacen, Member, Quiet Skies over San Juan County– The Navy plans to add 36 EA-18G “Growler” fighter jets and roughly double the number of Growler flight operations out of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. The only thing standing in its way is completion of the Environmental Impact Statement … Continue reading

Letter to Editor: Please Vote Yes on I-732 to Address Climate Change Let's make polluters pay and WA taxes less regressive

— from Chris and Chom Graecen — Firstly we would like to thank fellow islanders for gathering signatures and signing in support of the grassroots climate change initiative that is now successfully on the ballot as I-732. Please now join us in voting “YES.” I-732 will reduce Washington State’s greenhouse … Continue reading

Guest Opinion: Proposed OPALCO Election Changes Dilute Member Input a letter to OPALCO Board of Directors

 — by Chom Graecen — To: OPALCO Board of Directors and General Manager Foster Hildreth, Firstly I would like to commend the board for engaging members to provide inputs and recommendations to OPALCO on important matters such as the elections. The Member Review Committee on Elections and the planned Open Houses on different … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: 2015 OPALCO Voting Recommendation

— by Chom Greacen, Eric Youngren and Sandy Bishop — We recommend voting for Randy J. Cornelius and Winnie Adams (incumbent). (You can find out more about the full slate of candidates and their bio’s by following this link:http://www.opalco.com/news_article/opalco-board-candidates-announced/). OPALCO is going through rapid changes and many issues have risen … Continue reading

Guest Column: What Lies Behind OPALCO’s Rate Increases?

 — by Chom Graecen — If you find the electricity rate increases, 12% this year and 41% by 2019, alarming (see orcasissues.com/guest-column-opalcos-price-increases), what’s behind the rising rate is worse. Given OPALCO’s broadband busy-ness lately, how much of the rate increase is due to broadband? OPALCO’s answer is only an average … Continue reading

Guest Column: OPALCO’s Price Increases Are Shocking

— by Chom Graecen — Be warned. Some of us, particularly small electricity users, might be in for an electrifying shock treatment. Electricity prices are going up to the point where some may no long be able to afford this supposedly basic necessity. Despite OPALCO’s effort to educate its members … Continue reading

To Be or Not to Bee Safe

Sunday August 3, at  2:30 p.m. upstairs at the Orcas Food Co-op — by Chom Graecen — Gardeners beware. Some “bee friendly” plants that you buy may end up harming, instead of, helping bees. The health of honey bees, bumble bees and other pollinators have been under serious threat and … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: OPALCO 2014 Election

 — from Islands Energy Coalition — Dear OPALCO members, We, the undersigned, are members of the Islands Energy Coalition (IEC), a coalition of individuals from throughout the San Juan’s. Our primary goal is to bring awareness to energy issues ranging from the global to the local. On April 14th we hosted … Continue reading

Guest Column: Can Exxon Valdez-like Spills Happen Here?

 —  by Chom Graecen — 25 years ago, the Exxon Valdez hit a reef and leaked oil that covered an area 25 times the size of San Juan County waters, devastating the Alaskan ecology and economy. To this day, the spilled oil still remains in Alaskan soil. Many species and … Continue reading

Guest Column: Fossil Fuel Economy, Climate Change and Energy Inequity

 — by Chom Greacen — My heart wrenched as I followed the news of the Super Typhoon Haiyan hitting the Philippines. One of the strongest storms on record, Haiyan made Katrina and Sandy look like “weak cousins.” How many more lives and losses will it take for us to stop … Continue reading

Letter to the Editor: OPALCO Members Should Know about Subsidy for Broadband

Two little known facts about OPALCO’s “Broadband Vision”: 1) OPALCO has approved over $5 million for “backbone” network investments, including $3 million already spent in infrastructure, $1.2 million on broadband studies, and a significant chunk to procure 700 MHz frequency. 2) the Board adopted the policy that these “backbone” costs … Continue reading

Guest Editorial: The Laudable Stance of the Lummi Tribe on Cherry Point Coal Export Facility

From the Lopez No COALition The news that the Lummi Nation stood firm to “unconditionally and unequivocally” oppose the ill-considered Gateway Pacific Terminal project has brought us joy and humility. The Lummi’s July 30, 2013 letter to the Army Corps of Engineers brought joy because the tribal opposition to the … Continue reading

Guest Column: Tar Sand Drilling Equipment Truck Took Out the Skagit River I-5 Bridge

By Chom Graecen The Alberta Tar Sands are directly connected to the I-5 Skagit River bridge disaster. Calgary-based Mullen Trucking was hauling housing (a huge box) for oil drilling equipment to Vancouver, Washington. This is one of the ports where drilling rigs are offloaded for a “Heavy Haul” on enormous … Continue reading

Guest Column: OPALCO’s Risky Venture into Broadband Business

By Chom & Chris Greacen We have been following the OPALCO broadband debate and are in full agreement that we need better and faster internet access for its economic, educational and communication benefits. It is very frustrating to pay Centurytel for 1.5 Mbps of download speed only to get as … Continue reading

Letter to Editor: Michael Karp for OPALCO board

Michael Karp is running for the OPALCO board, and he has our vote and full support. Michael is uniquely qualified for the OPALCO board. He has been pioneering innovative and successful energy efficiency, renewable energy and other programs for the past 35 years in Washington State and throughout the USA. … Continue reading