Manager’s Message – June 2023

Oregon co-op leaders met with Rep. Earl Blumenauer while in Washington, D.C. From left are Ron Holmes, Wasco Electric; Tony Schacher, Salem Electric; Libby Calnon, Hood River; Blumenauer; and Jeff Anderson and Jan Bargen, Salem Electric.

Our elected leaders in Washington, D.C., hold enormous sway over our ability to provide you with safe, reliable, and affordable electric and internet service. That is why the Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association, which represents and promotes the interests of the state’s 18 electric cooperatives, recently organized a trip to our nation’s capital.

I was part of a team of 20 cooperative leaders representing Oregon, joining nearly 2,000 other co-op leaders from across
the country to participate in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Legislative Conference. We spent time on Capitol Hill and met with each member of Oregon’s congressional delegation to discuss legislative issues affecting our co-op and you, our members.

During our sessions, we asked for our delegation’s help to alleviate supply chain constraints and provided an update on our contract negotiations with the Bonneville Power Administration for our future power supply. We also asked our delegation to oppose the removal of the lower Snake River dams. Federal studies indicate breaching the dams could raise your rates by as much as 50% and jeopardize access to reliable electricity in the Pacific Northwest.

Our House and Senate members asked good questions and often requested additional information on key issues. I appreciate their time and attention, and look forward to visiting with them when they are in the state. Too much is at stake to not engage in state and federal policies that would jeopardize our ability to deliver safe and reliable power.

Our community is now represented by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, who has been in Congress since 1996. His former district was mostly urban Portland. We look forward to having him visit the area to learn about co-ops and how we serve and support you, our members, and meet the needs of our rural community.

General Manager Libby Calnon