I'm thankful to be among the regional energy community, including our NewsData colleagues. It's an honor and a privilege to work with, and know so many, smart, engaging, thoughtful, passionate and dedicated folks, all of whom—in their own ways, from their own perspectives—are seeking to make the Western electricity and natural gas world a better place. It'll be even better when we can resume gathering more frequently in person! [Mark Ohrenschall]
My editor sometimes jokingly refers to my coverage of fish issues as they relate to the Columbia River hydropower system as the "doom and gloom" beat. Admittedly, sometimes it's hard to find hope after reading (and writing) many of the stories I cover; drought, marine heat waves, warming river temperatures, the worst-ever steelhead returns, the never-ending debate over Snake River dams. Combined with the national news about the climate crisis and the pandemic, it's easy to slip into an apocalyptic frame of mind.
Fortunately, I know that when faced with fear and helplessness, gratitude is the best antidote. And I have so much to be thankful for as Thanksgiving Day approaches. In my work life, I am so grateful to have kind and professional colleagues at Clearing Up; to work for NewsData under the wings of Pioneer Utility Resources, a well-run company that values my work and takes care of my health insurance; and to have a job that teaches me something new every day. As the world grapples with climate change and the region takes major steps to transition to clean energy sources, I feel very fortunate to have a front-row seat!
As always, I'm most grateful to have a loving family, supportive friends, and resources that provide me with well beyond the necessities of food, shelter and clothing. In the last 18 months, life has thrown me a couple of difficult losses when first my sweet sister, then my dear friend since grade school passed away. It's something to be expected after six decades of life but no less difficult. This year—or actually early next year—I hope with all my heart to see the other side of that coin. My daughter is expecting her first child—my first grandchild—and for that, I feel truly blessed. [K.C. Mehaffey]
I'm thankful to be helping chronicle the region's historic shift to clean energy. I'm thankful for Rep. Mike Simpson's (R-Idaho) courage to wade into the energy trenches, and offer a vision that could rebuild Snake River salmon runs, keep the Northwest economy humming and BPA strong. We should toast Simpson and his staff for their willingness and guts to try and find a new path forward. I'm also thankful for vaccines, masks, scientists, doctors, nurses, and all people who lead with open minds, empathy, understanding and compassion. [Steve Ernst]
I'm thankful for the many years I've spent with my honored and professional NewsData coworkers to bring what I hope has been useful, insightful and (occasionally) amusing news to the Western energy community as markets, generation and reliability transition to a new era. That fascinating community has been generous with its time and knowledge, and plays a critical role supporting the prosperity and well-being of us all. I'm especially reminded of this after a construction crew severed a power line at my house and left us dark two days before Thanksgiving Day. [Rick Adair]