Ted Case headshotThe Oregon Legislative Assembly is underway in Salem, with leaders of both parties pledging to take on some big challenges that were front and center during last year’s campaign: the housing crisis, homelessness and education, among others. Governor Tina Kotek has announced one of her priorities is making government accountable for all Oregonians.

In the past several sessions, the Oregon Legislature has passed legislation to reduce carbon emissions and bolster renewable energy, including an ambitious clean energy standard.

This session, the Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association is focused on educating lawmakers—many of whom are in their first term—about how Oregon electric co-ops are doing their part for the environment with an energy portfolio that is approximately 96% emission-free.

We are immensely proud of our track record as some of the cleanest utilities in the country, but we’re advising elected officials that we have big challenges to address so we can be accountable to the more than 500,000 Oregonians we serve.

These challenges include wildfire mitigation, vegetation management, supply chain issues and perhaps the biggest challenge of all: protecting the federal hydroelectric dams. Hydroelectric dams are critical to maintaining an affordable, reliable and renewable power supply in the Pacific Northwest.

Undoubtedly, there will be heated debate in our capitol as legislators tackle these challenges. That is the nature of our democracy. We wish our elected officials well as they roll up their sleeves to make our state a better place to live.

Executive Director Ted Case