United to Save Salmon and Hydropower – January 2022 Manager’s Message

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Dear Members,

Last month we asked you for your feedback on Benton REA’s Clean Energy Implementation Plan and reviewed the survey results. Many of you expressed your concern for the environment and the need for clean, carbon-free resources. Many of you also questioned why the survey did not specifically ask for your thoughts on hydropower.

Rest assured, we are working to protect hydroelectric dams and the clean, reliable energy they produce.

Benton REA is an active member of many organizations that advocate for preserving the federal hydropower system because we know first-hand its ability to generate safe and reliable electricity that is firm and dispatchable and is produced in a manner that involves zero carbon emissions. These organizations include:

  • National Rural Electric Cooperative Association: Working with elected officials to keep electricity safe, reliable and affordable as well as researching and communicating with members regarding environmental issues (www.electric.coop).
  • Public Power Council: Preserving and enhancing the benefits of the Federal Columbia River Power System for consumer-owned utilities (www.ppcpdx.org).
  • Northwest RiverPartners: Serving not-for-profit, community-owned electric utilities in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Nevada and Wyoming and representing partners that support clean energy, low-carbon transportation and agricultural jobs (www.nwriverpartners.org).
  • Northwest Public Power Association: Supporting hydropower as a vital carbon-free resource for its 155 public/people’s utility districts, electric cooperatives, municipalities, and Crown corporations in the Western U.S. and Canada (www.nwppa.org).
  • Columbia Snake River Irrigators Association: Supporting stewardship and environmental benefits based on sound economic policies for water resources management (www.csria.org).

As Kurt Miller, executive director of Northwest RiverPartners, says in his editorial on page 28 of the January Ruralite magazine, “We are reminded our call to action shouldn’t be ‘let’s do something.’ It should be ‘let’s do something responsible.’”

Rather than removing the region’s most reliable, affordable and carbon-free source of electricity and hoping it saves the salmon, we need to unite to preserve both salmon and hydropower.


Michael J. Bradshaw signature

Michael J. Bradshaw

General Manager

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