Manager’s Message – May 2024

Electric Co-ops Carry the Voice of Rural Oregon to Nation’s Capital

Dear Co-op Members:

Last month, Oregon’s electric cooperatives sent a contingent of leaders to our nation’s capital to brief our congressional delegation and their staff on the issues affecting our ability to provide members with affordable, reliable electricity. While we annually carry the voices of rural Oregonians back to Washington, D.C., it is hard to imagine a more critical time to call upon our elected officials for their help.

1 of the greatest assets the Northwest has is the clean, reliable, affordable power supply provided by the Federal Columbia River Power System. As you may have read in previous issues of this magazine, our power supply is at risk. Oregon co-op leaders made the case that preserving the hydroelectric dams on the Snake and Columbia rivers is critical to maintaining our power supply, particularly in extreme weather. Because only the U.S. Congress can vote to breach these dams, it is vital our members of Congress understand the consequences of their actions could result in blackouts to our grid.

With wildfire season approaching, Oregon electric co-ops also updated our elected leaders on our efforts to mitigate the risk of catastrophic wildfires. While utility-caused wildfires are a small fraction of fires caused each year, Oregon’s electric co-ops believe we have an obligation to protect the communities we serve through diligent wildfire mitigation practices. But many cooperatives also need the cooperation of federal agencies— of which the U.S. Congress maintains oversight responsibility—to implement vegetation management plans to keep our power lines clear of dangerous trees.

Oregon electric co-ops appreciated our congressional delegation and their staff members listening to these concerns. They face difficult challenges each day in the U.S. Congress, but we believe policies that protect affordable and reliable electricity for you are critical to our nation, our state, and our communities.


Debi Wilson