Utilities Across the Northwest Question Oregon Governor’s Actions

Portland, Oregon (August 11, 2021) – Today, over 70 signatories sent a letter to Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown asking that Oregon put on hold the Federal District Court preliminary injunction filing calling for more spill at federal dams. The signatories represent electric utilities and associations throughout the Northwest with a vested interest in the health and functionality of the Columbia River basin and the federal hydropower system.

If the District Court orders anything close to what Oregon demands, it will have dire consequences for everyone. Not only could it cost ratepayers over $100 million per year, it will result in increased greenhouse gas emissions. And it undermines the reliability of the system. Blackouts, like we’ve recently seen in California and Texas, could happen in the Northwest with spill of this magnitude.

Oregon’s motion for spill goes against the efforts of the Columbia Basin Collaborative, the group of state, tribal, federal, and other stakeholders that the governor of Oregon (along with the governors of Washington, Idaho and Montana) agreed to convene for the purpose of finding permanent solutions to fish issues in the Northwest outside of litigation.

Pressure is mounting on Oregon as others in public power have raised alarm recently, too. The Public Power Council (PPC) and Northwest Requirements Utilities (NRU) recently sent out a joint press release about this very issue. The attached letter outlines the call to stop litigation and engage in the process that Oregon recently agreed to.