CENSE is the Coalition of Eastside Neighborhoods for Sensible Energy. We are an all-volunteer, grassroots, non-profit organization that represents thousands of Eastside residents and business owners. Our goal is to be the voice of the community and to ensure that important questions about PSE’s project are answered. We come from many backgrounds, but we all agree that PSE’s “Energize Eastside” is a fundamentally flawed project. We have serious concerns about the need, safety, cost and environmental impacts of the 230kV transmission line project, and know that there are better solutions to our energy needs.
CENSE supports grid-modernization technologies to strengthen our energy grid, reduce power outages and provide economical alternatives to higher voltage power lines.
CENSE views PSE’s proposed Energize Eastside project as a solution to a problem that does not exist, using outdated technology that would scar our Eastside community.
CENSE values the quality of life we enjoy in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. We value our tree canopy and have seen the ugly scars and reduced values associated with projects like the Interurban transmission line.
CENSE supports the health and safety of our Eastside community. Energize Eastside increases electrical voltage near an aging jet fuel pipeline that passes close to schools, churches and neighborhoods. The Bellingham explosion in 1999 illustrates the unacceptable risk of construction close to these pipelines when there are better and cheaper alternatives.
CENSE supports the health of our planet. We support investments in clean energy sources, batteries, and smart technology to reduce our carbon footprint. We must move away from fossil fuels and peaker plants that emit greenhouse gases and accelerate climate change.
CENSE opposes Energize Eastside as an immediate threat to our Eastside neighborhoods. Our overarching mission remains to promote safe, sensible, and sustainable energy solutions in contrast to PSE, which prioritizes projects that maximize profits for its foreign owners.
CENSE was organized in May 2014, after PSE attempted to use its Community Advisory Group, (CAG) to pit neighborhoods against each other as transmission line routes were debated.
Our name, Coalition of Eastside Neighborhoods for Sensible Energy (CENSE), reflects the neighborhoods’ desire to work together on energy solutions that benefit our communities and the environment.
CENSE has worked diligently to show that the assumptions PSE made to justify the need for Energize Eastside are either outdated or misrepresented.
CENSE is preparing for victory. We ask for your financial support so we can hire experts and legal representation for crucial legal proceedings in Newcastle.
Thanks to generous donations, CENSE has continued to build its legal strategy with our land use attorney, Rick Aramburu, and retain industry experts to prepare evidence for the hearings. We have a strong legal case based on City of Bellevue land use codes.
CENSE convinced PSE’s state regulator, the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, to require PSE to document transmission projects in long-range plans. We also encouraged the Commission to require PSE to analyze energy storage, such as batteries, as an alternative for all transmission projects.
CENSE joined with Sierra Club, 350 Eastside, and Protectors of the Salish Sea to rally and provide testimony aimed at closing PSE’s polluting coal plants, which provide about a third of the electricity consumed on the Eastside. PSE finally agreed! Our partner organizations support our fight for more environmentally sound solutions for the Eastside.
CENSE hired energy experts to submit papers documenting the inadequacies of the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) and engaged hundreds of residents to submit written comments or testify at public hearings on the EIS.
CENSE convinced the City of Bellevue to hire an independent analyst to study the need for Energize Eastside. The analyst failed to answer some of our pressing questions about demand forecasts, but there was one very important conclusion. PSE assumes that a huge amount of electricity must be exported to Canada in the middle of an emergency scenario on the Eastside. The analyst showed that this assumption, which we believe is not required, causes almost all of the overloads that PSE uses to justify the project.
Three out of four CENSE-endorsed candidates were victorious in 2017 city council elections. We are gradually changing the composition of the city councils that will make the final decisions on construction permits for PSE’s transmission projects.
CENSE engaged Richard Lauckhart, a former VP of Power Planning at PSE, to run advanced computer simulations of the scenario PSE uses to justify Energize Eastside. These simulations show that PSE’s blackout scenario cannot happen because of limitations on the regional grid.
Next: About Energize Eastside
- Better Solutions
- CENSE Overview (PDF, 3.5 MB)
- Document Library
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As a grassroots organization, our strength comes through member participation. Together we’ll ensure a safe and smart energy future for our community.