It’s not easy to pass a new law. I have watched countless bills be introduced and then fail to get a congressional hearing, much less a vote, on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

That is why House passage in April of H.R. 3144—a bill to take a timeout from the ill-fated plan to spill more water in the Columbia River Basin—is incredibly significant. As noted in our feature story this month on Congressman Kurt Schrader, H.R. 3144 is a common-sense remedy to a situation that threatens one of the Northwest’s most precious resources: our emission-free, renewable federal hydroelectric system.

I want to thank the members of the Oregon congressional delegation who voted for the bill: Congressman Schrader and Congressman Greg Walden.

Now the action turns to the U.S. Senate. Our Oregon senators—Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley—have told us they will carefully review the legislation. We appreciate their consideration of legislation that will protect co-op members from higher electric rates and keep more carbon emissions from going into the atmosphere.

Honoring One of Our Own

Democracy is an amazing thing, but sometimes it can sting. Recently, one of ORECA’s board members—Umatilla’s Bob MacPherson—was defeated in his re-election bid.

For many years, Bob served as our secretary-treasurer. While he was an exemplary board officer, I always considered him the “wise man” of the organization for his behind-the-scenes work. He cares deeply about ORECA and electric cooperatives, which I know will never change.

We look forward to honoring Bob for his service to ORECA at our meeting in Hood River this July.

Ted Case
Executive Director