Manager’s Message – October 2020, Dam Support, Annual Meeting Invitation

Monthly Manager's Message Header - Powerlines against a sunset

Dear Members,

In April, many of you chose to stand up for our lower Snake River hydroelectric dams. We received 173 letters from Benton REA members which we mailed to the federal agencies drafting the Columbia River system Operations (CRSO) Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). They received more than 56,000 comments and released a final EIS on July 31.

The federal agencies recommended maintaining the lower Snake River dams with adjusted operations and concluded that the dams were critical to providing affordable, reliable and carbon-free electric energy for the Northwest.

Similarly, on July 31, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries released a biological opinion of the operations and maintenance effects of the CRSO. They concluded that the actions proposed in the EIS will not likely jeopardize the continued existence of Snake River salmon, steelhead and other endangered fish. They also determined that the actions included in the EIS will not destroy, nor adversely modify, designed critical habitat for the same species, the Southern Resident killer whales and the southern distinct population segment of sturgeon or their critical habitat.

Benton REA is relieved to hear that our carbon-free, renewable hydroelectricity is supported by these federal agencies’ conclusions. But opposition for keeping the dams still remains. Thank you for your support and actions thus far. We will keep fighting for hydropower, low electric rates and an environmentally clean future!

Your Virtual Annual Meeting Invitation

At the time of this publication’s deadline, restrictions for gatherings in Benton and Yakima counties remained too low for Benton REA to host our traditional annual meeting and member appreciation event. I am sad to announce this news, but I’m also pleased to let you know that Benton REA will offer a “virtual” annual meeting this year.

Please join your fellow co-op members for Benton REA’s 83rd Annual Membership Meeting online on Wednesday, October 21, at 6:30 p.m. registration instructions are at

Everyone at Benton REA hopes that the pandemic will end soon, and that we will be able to see you face-to-face at our annual meeting in 2021. Please stay safe and stay healthy!


Michael J. Bradshaw signature

Michael J. Bradshaw

General Manager

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