Case in Point

Case in Point – June 2017

The word seems to be getting out. Recently, a bipartisan group of Oregon legislators wrote Gov. Kate Brown urging her to “constructively participate with regional partners on the operation of the federal Columbia River system.” It is a long-overdue request. For years, the state of Oregon has been an outlier when it comes to the […]

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Charging up the Hill (Capitol Hill, that is)

Oregon co-op leaders traveled to Washington, D.C., as the Trump administration crossed its 100-day threshold with a strong focus on energy issues By Ted Case Emerging from a side doorway of a Washington, D.C., hotel ballroom, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry had an uncertain fate April 24, 2017, as he prepared to speak to a […]

Case in Point

Case in Point – May 2017

There are not a lot of new ideas coming out of Washington, D.C., but there are a lot of dumb old ones. I have been in this business long enough to recall the arguments of the Heritage Foundation to sell off the federal hydropower system to help reduce the deficit. This idea goes all the […]

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A Blueprint for a Better Oregon

Rep. Mark Johnson brings a builder’s sensibility—and political savvy—to the Oregon Legislature By Ted Case Rep. Mark Johnson (R-Hood River) is not a man to cut corners. Measuring twice and cutting once is good business for someone who has been a successful general contractor in Hood River County for three decades. Constructing a durable home […]

Case in Point

Case in Point – April 2017

No one can say electric cooperative leaders don’t have heart. We are only a few weeks removed from ORECA’s Legislative Day in Salem, and I want to take this opportunity to thank co-op leaders and legislators for a memorable two days. I am always impressed with the dedication of the Oregon co-op leaders who participate […]

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Electric Co-ops Are in the House and Senate

Oregon electric cooperative leaders take to the state Capitol in defense of federal hydropower By Ted Case Rep. Caddy McKeown (D Coos Bay) kicked off the ORECA 2017 Legislative Day program March 15 with the keynote address on an issue that links all Oregonians: transportation. McKeown, whose coastal district is served by two electric cooperatives—Douglas […]

Case in Point

Case in Point – March 2017

Oregon electric cooperative leaders will descend upon the state Capitol this month to promote common-sense policies that allow us to provide our members with reliable, affordable and safe electricity. It is the most important day of the entire session for Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association members. Bashing politicians is a cottage industry, but most who […]

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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Legislator

State Representative (and Colonel) Gene Whisnant and his wife, Josie,have lived a life worthy of a John le Carré novel. By Ted Case State Rep. Gene Whisnant (R-Sunriver), a decorated colonel and former diplomat, has had a long, distinguished career working in some of the most perilous work environments imaginable: the Pentagon; Da Nang, Vietnam; […]

Case in Point

Case in Point – February 2017

Opening the box isn’t exactly like opening a Christmas present, but there is still a sense of anticipation. The scene is the opening day of the Oregon Legislative Assembly—a day of ceremonies, speeches and pledges of bipartisanship. For lobbyists, it is a day to go into the bowels of the Capitol with a pair of […]

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Getting Out the Facts

The federal government’s NEPA process provides an opportunity to clear up misconceptions about the Northwest hydro system By Ted Case In a cavernous Portland Convention Center ballroom lined with federal officials who operate the Columbia River Basin dams, the most important person in the room may be a stenographer. The December 7, 2016, meeting was […]

Case in Point

Case in Point – January 2017

One of my favorite holiday events each year is our annual co-op lunch in Salem with our state legislators. It’s a bit of a hybrid event, a celebration of Oregon’s co-ops— electric, telecommunications, credit unions and agriculture— and a thank you for legislators who work hard for their constituents. There is much to like about […]

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Rural Oregon Back in the Spotlight

Electric co-op leaders explore a changing industry, as well as grapple with a contentious election and an uncertain legislative session In December, Oregon rural electric cooperative leaders met in Salem to discuss trends in rural Oregon and in the electric utility industry, as well as to honor those who made an invaluable contribution to the […]

Case in Point

Case in Point – December 2016

It has been a long time since I’ve seen so many stories on rural America—about four years. It seems that during every presidential election, there is a flurry of coverage about the all-important rural vote. This year it was particularly true with headlines such as, “Revenge of the Rural Voter” spawning deep analysis of what […]

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“We Need to Rise Above It”

In a tumultuous political era, National Rural Electric Cooperative CEO Jim Matheson brings a proven track record of bipartisan credentials to his new role By Ted Case “If you’ve met one coop,” says Jim Matheson, “you’ve met one coop.” Matheson, who took over as CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association this summer, made […]

Case in Point

Case in Point – November 2016

Not one of the several hundred attendees of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Region 7 and 9 ACRE breakfast in October believed anything extraordinary was going to happen. For those who are veterans of such meetings, the hour was expected to consist of bacon, eggs and a litany of state reports on progress with […]

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Leading by Example

State Rep. Sherrie Sprenger and Consumers Power CEO Roman Gillen are powerful voices for rural Oregon—while rarely raising their voices By Ted Case State Rep. Sherrie Sprenger (R Scio) and Roman Gillen, CEO of Consumers Power Inc., have much in common. Both leaders are relentless advocates of a prosperous rural economy, each possessing a laser […]

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Lucky Number Seven and Much Hard Work

The Umpqua Indian Utility Cooperative is a unique entity, much like the tribe it serves in Southwestern Oregon By Ted Case It’s a long way from the old bingo hall. The Seven Feathers Casino Resort is hard to miss as it emerges from the curvy, treelined landscape along Interstate 5 near Canyonville. The bingo hall […]

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Getting Lots of Mileage

Four unlikely towns welcome EV charging stations, opening scenic byways and creating economic development opportunities By Ted Case The territory served by Columbia Basin Electric Cooperative is formerly a land of pioneer wagons pulled by oxen, and mule teams making their way west in the 1800s. In 2016, there is a different kind of trailblazing […]

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Giving Back, True Callings and Colt .45s

Gary Miller: His One Job Now is Giving Back Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative Director Gary Miller retired from his job as a telephone executive in 2006 after a distinguished 34year career. He may need to go back to work to get a little rest. Miller, a lifelong John Day resident, has not been content to […]

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Small Footprint, Big Impact

Salem Electric keeps the lights on in the communities it serves—and a whole lot more. Reliable to a Fault – Now 75, Salem Electric always has been a different kind of cooperative By Ted Case Salem Electric’s annual meeting is a bit different than those at a typical electric cooperative. Rather than a Saturday big […]

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Two of a Kind

Reps. Deborah Boone and Brad Witt are watchdogs in the Oregon Legislature for West Oregon Electric Cooperative and its member-owners. The following profiles highlight some of their work on behalf of West Oregon and their rural constituents. by Ted Case Deborah Boone Rep. Deborah Boone (D-Cannon Beach) spends a lot of time in the Oregon […]