Manager’s Message – February 2020

Monthly Manager's Message Header - Powerlines against a sunset

Dear Members,

In the next few months the US. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the Bonneville Power Administration is expected to release the draft Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act on the coordinated water management function for operation, maintenance and configuration of the 14 federal dam and reservoir projects that comprise the Columbia River System.

This critical report will influence the future of the Columbia and lower Snake River dams. And so, it is equally important that you be informed on this study.

The lower Snake River dams provide many enhancements for our quality of life in Eastern Washington. They provide flood control, navigation, hydropower production, irrigation, fish and wildlife conservation, recreation, municipal and industrial water supply and water quality.

As Northwesterners, we value and choose to protect the habitat of our native salmon and wildlife of the Columbia and Snake rivers. Both fish and dams can coexist. But this fact is in jeopardy, as is our low-cost, renewable and carbon-free energy provided by our hydroelectric dams.

On page 28 of your February Ruralite magazine, Kurt Miller, executive director of Northwest RiverPartners, describes how the EIS can and will impact electricity consumers. I encourage you to read his article and take action to support the lower Snake River dams.

After the EIS report is released, there will be a 45-day public comment period for Northwest citizens to review and give their feedback. Benton REA will continue to educate you about how to make a difference in this battle to save our reliable, carbon-free, low-cost hydroelectricity.

Cooperatively,

Michael J. Bradshaw signature

Michael J. Bradshaw

General Manager

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