Dear Lane Electric Community:
The latest chapter of a great Northwest story has just begun to unfold in Lane County on TV and in newspapers and magazines, including our own Ruralite. Starting in March you’ll start hearing about and seeing CleanHydro. CleanHydro is the story of the Northwest’s Columbia and Snake Rivers hydropower dams and their incredible influence of on our daily lives.
Lane Electric has joined with other Pacific Northwest utilities as well as farmers, ports, and businesses to get the word out about CleanHydro as a public education effort coordinated by Northwest RiverPartners. The CleanHydro effort is in its third year and reaches 7 million residents in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana and now in Lane County. CleanHydro celebrates the multiple benefits of the Northwest’s dams and river system: irrigation for agriculture; flood control for cities and towns; commerce made possible by navigable rivers and a robust port system; and of course, hydropower—the region’s most affordable and reliable source of clean, renewable energy. Hydropower doesn’t burn any fossil fuels and keeps our carbon footprint about half that of other parts of the country.
Lane Electric’s legacy with CleanHydro’s system of dams extends back over 55 years, delivering clean hydroelectric power to rural Lane County. Again this year, anti-dam advocates will take the hydropower system back to court to challenge a federal plan to operate the dams to minimize their impact on salmon. These anti-dam voices also are collecting signatures to send to President Obama, demanding that the Snake River dams be taken down. Despite the billions, including nearly one-fourth of Lane Electric’s wholesale cost of power, spent to make dams more fish-friendly and improve salmon habitat, these opponents won’t stop until they remove some of the dams that provide nearly 60 percent of the region’s energy and 90 percent of its renewable energy.
For all of these reasons, it’s critical that CleanHydro continue to cut through the noise and take the true story of hydro and our river system directly to the people of the Northwest. We’re making sure that CleanHydro’s story is heard. For additional information about the Northwest’s hydropower and river system, please visit www.CleanHydro.com.