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NW Fishletter #372, August 7, 2017

[7] Oregon Publics Ask Governor to Balance Energy and Salmon Recovery

Executives of Oregon's electric cooperatives and other consumer-owned utilities asked Gov. Kate Brown for her personal leadership in formulating a 2018 spill plan to comply with a recent court order.

The July 6 letter to the governor from 36 co-op and PUD leaders cited the State of Oregon's request for an injunction from the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon requiring more spring spill at eight dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers.

The consequences of Oregon's decision, the letter said, would be to decrease hydropower generation in the spring and reduce revenues and/or increase power acquisition costs, which will cost the region about $40 million a year.

The "impact of additional spill will fall disproportionately on consumers in areas of the state with lower household incomes, particularly rural areas," the utility leaders said.

The leaders also said the loss of hydropower would be contrary to the state's carbon reduction goals, because it would lead to increased purchases of fossil-fueled generation.

They told the governor they were ready to help her develop a spill plan that "strikes an appropriate balance between energy production, the economy and our state's environment."

Officials of Eugene Water and Electric Board, Oregon Municipal Electric Utilities Association, Oregon PUD Association and Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association signed the letter. -L. B

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