PULLMAN, Wash. — The Northwest Power Planning Council has appointed Ken Casavant, Washington State University transportation economist, to the Independent Economic Analysis Board, a panel created last year by the council to improve cost analysis of fish and wildlife recovery measures.
Casavant, a member of the council from 1994 until April of this year, will replace Emery Castle, a professor emeritus of economics at Oregon State University, who resigned from the panel.
The Independent Economic Analysis Board conducts annual reviews of measures proposed for funding by the Bonneville Power Administration through the Council’s Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program. The panel offers economic advice on other fish, wildlife and energy issues as the council requests.
“Dr. Casavant is a regionally recognized expert in transportation economics,” said Council Chairman John Etchart of Montana. “He is the director of the nationally recognized Eastern Washington Intermodal Transportation Study at Washington State University.
“Impacts on navigation and the costs of alternative transportation are key issues for the future, particularly regarding the four dams on the lower Snake River.
“The IEAB did not have an expert in transportation economics. Dr. Casavant already understands the issues that the region and the council will address in the future and he will not face a learning curve as the other potential new IEAB members would have.”
In June, the council asked the IEAB to recommend economists to take Castle’s place. Casavant was the highest-rated nominee, Etchart said.
Casavant earned his doctorate in marketing and transportation at WSU in 1971 and has been a faculty member of WSU’s agricultural economics department since 1970. He served part-time as associate director of the Washington State Transportation Center from 1984-87.
Earlier this year Casavant served as interim vice provost for academic affairs and interim vice provost for research at WSU before beginning a one-year sabbatical in North Dakota in August.
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