My wife is Hawaiian, and that has its benefits. We vacationed on the islands this summer, taking advantage of a few hideaway beaches favored by the locals.
These beaches with big, roiling waves coveted by the island’s surfers have one rule: Never turn your back on the ocean, lest you get churned around in the surf like a sock in a dryer. It’s good advice and a sign of the times, because there seems to be no calm waters—for any of us.
This year, we’ve been pummeled by extreme ice storms, extreme heat, extreme wildfires, and a pandemic that despite a brief lull, has surged back. There appears to be no end in sight to this barrage. Every day, it seems, is high tide.
What is to come now that summer transitions into fall? Hopefully, it is kids back in school, football played in the crisp fall air, and a sense of normalcy. While nothing is certain these days, Oregon’s electric cooperatives have been one constant in this tumult. They have been rock-solid in these extreme weather events, powered by the flexible and emission-free federal hydro system that, inexplicably, the state of Oregon wants to dismantle.
It’s important to note that one year after the devastating wildfires, Oregon electric co-ops are still undisputed leaders in wildfire mitigation, using the latest technologies to minimize the risks. And while the pandemic has affected us all, our commitment to customer and employee safety has allowed us to continue providing the highest level of service without interruption.
It’s a challenging time for all of us, but particularly for the electric utility industry. None of us knows what is ahead, but here is our commitment in these treacherous waters: Electric cooperatives will never turn our back on that dangerous, cresting wave. We will always keep our gaze fixed on what’s rolling in. Aloha.