Manager’s Message — September 2020

Be Heard, Join ACRE

Debi WilsonSummers here at the co-op are some of our busiest times. The dry weather allows us to prepare for storms by performing system maintenance, trimming rights-of-way, and inspecting lines that are otherwise problematic to reach.

There actually are a few storms brewing that we could use your help to prepare for.

We are all experiencing difficulties and a certain degree of loss during these trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic. There also are pressing legislative issues that need our collective attention.

As Congress continues to struggle with relief packages and charting a course back to prosperity, there is an opportunity for us to advocate for our co-op and our communities.

We need to urge policymakers to minimize COVID-19 impacts and provide a safety net by:

  • Promoting investment to expand broadband access in areas of rural America that lack internet access, like much of our service territory.
  • Providing federal funds to address potential operational shortfalls for electric co-ops whose members are disproportionally affected by the economic downturn and not able to pay their bills.
  • Directing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to swiftly provide promised funding to co-ops that have restored their electric systems devastated by past disasters, such as last year’s snowstorm.

Here is how you can do all that and more, in less than 5 minutes.

Cooperatives across Oregon are encouraging their members to promote commonsense solutions by way of a grassroots program called Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association Action, or ORECA-Action.

Upon visiting the Oreca-Action website, click the “Take Action” button, which will provide you with information about things you can do right now to help us better weather the storms ahead. Please visit the site today and help us help you.

Cooperatives have a storied past of political engagement. They understand the power that comes from banding together with those around us to advocate for things important to us.

After all, it was a group of concerned neighbors up the McKenzie River that got together in the late 1930s to make their voices heard, which spurred the creation of what is now Lane Electric Cooperative.

More recently, it took a group of concerned co-op members to reach out to their elected officials to advocate for support of the RURAL Act, which corrected unintended changes to the IRS code that would have cost us our tax-exempt status.

It will take just such a group of concerned citizens to continue supporting the preferred alternative of the Environmental Impact Study regarding the four lower Snake River dams to keep our power clean, reliable, and economical.

It’s more important than ever to work cooperatively and advocate for solutions to the problems facing our co-op, our community, and our country.

We need to do our part and add our voices to the many others around us. Members of Congress work for us, and they need to hear our stories.

Debi Wilson
General Manager