Board Meeting Summary March 18, 2020

March 18, 2020
Board Meeting Summary

Board Action:

Support to Preserve Lower Snake River Dams

The Board voted to provide comment on the Columbia River System Operations Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). A letter of support will be mailed to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The DEIS concluded that breaching the four lower Snake River dams would have an adverse impact on electric cooperative consumers, the reliability of the Northwest power grid, and the environment. 

Manager’s Report:

Coronavirus Covid-19 Update

Salem Electric is closely monitoring information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and federal, state, and local agencies regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). For the health and safety of employees and members, Salem Electric has temporarily closed the office lobby to the public until further notice. Representatives are available by phone or email during regular business hours. Preparations have been made for remote work options for office employees, and the line crew is working in rotation to maintain social distancing. Plans are in place to maintain all essential business operations. To further support members impacted by COVID-19, Salem Electric is temporarily suspending late fees and disconnects, and extending the member assistance program until all funds are exhausted.

Benefits of Lower Snake River Dams

The mission of Oregon’s electric cooperatives is to deliver clean, affordable, reliable electricity to our members. The Columbia River System Operations Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) concluded that breaching the Snake River dams would have “long-term, major, adverse effects on power costs and rates,” and the “rate pressure could be up to 50% on wholesale power rates.” The DEIS also noted that federal agencies have made substantial improvements for fish passage at the lower Snake River and lower Columbia River dams. Customers of the Bonneville Power Administration have helped fund this multi-billion-dollar effort to improve fish passage at the dams, which is meeting targets of 96% survival rates for migrating juvenile fish. Strong support in favor of protecting the lower Snake River Dams can protect this vital, clean, renewable, energy resource for the Pacific Northwest.