Action Alert: Your Voice Needed for Clean Energy and Wild Salmon!
Protect your vision of a future with wild salmon and clean, affordable energy
The Bonneville Power Administration will soon sign contracts with utilities and large companies to deliver electricity from 2006 to 2026. These contracts will largely determine the fate of wild salmon and steelhead on the Columbia and Snake Rivers as well as the rates you pay, the quality of our environment and the amount that we invest in renewable energy and energy conservation.
These contracts offer BPA a tremendous opportunity to do something good for our region by increasing investments in clean energy and restoring wild salmon. Public Interest groups, including Save Our Wild Salmon, the NW Energy Coalition and others, have developed the Public Interest Proposal (outlined below). A strong public voice is needed to support the Public Interest Proposal and ensure that BPA makes decisions that reflect your vision for our region - wild salmon and clean energy.
Take Action Today!
1. Attend the Portland public meeting and tell BPA to adopt the Public Interest Proposal. Even if you don't want to speak, we need people to attend these meetings to show public support.
*What: BPA Public Meeting
*When: Monday, September 30 from 6-9pm
*Where: BPA Headquarters at 905 NE 11th Ave., Portland (Near
the Lloyd Center)
* Arrive early and bring picture id for security
2. Send an email asking BPA to implement the Public Interest Proposal and support wild salmon and clean energy. Click on the link below to visit a web-sight that will allow you to automatically send a message to both BPA and Congress.
The Public Interest Proposal
The objective of the Public Interest Proposal is to establish principles and mechanisms that should be included in any long-term allocation agreement between BPA and its customer utilities. This Proposal would ensure that contracts that grant utilities percentage shares of BPA power would maintain and increase BPA's commitment to salmon restoration and clean, renewable energy.
Wild Salmon and Steelhead:
1. BPA and other federal agencies must meet their legal obligations for salmon recovery.
2. Any new contracts between the utilities and BPA must remove the economic and operational incentives to violate current and future salmon restoration requirements, including the removal of the four lower Snake River dams.
3. The Northwest energy portfolio should be diversified with an increase in conservation and renewable resources in order to decrease the pressure on the Columbia and Snake Rivers to produce electricity.
4. Independent oversight must be established to ensure that salmon restoration requirements are met.
5. Salmon must be given equal representation in all federal decision making processes.
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Resources
1. Increases in energy demand must be met with cost-effective energy efficiency and new, renewable resources such as solar, wind, geothermal and biomass resources.
2. BPA customers (the utilities) must meet conservation goals set by the Northwest Power Planning Council. We estimate this target as approximately 175 average megawatts per year.
3. BPA will provide quality control to ensure that the program is run efficiently and ultimately be the backstop in case a utility does not meet its conservation goal.
4. BPA will directly fund state and county community action agencies to weatherize all remaining unweatherized low-income homes by 2026.
Background - Why is this important?
As the region's largest power marketer, supplying nearly half of all electricity in the Northwest with power generated by dams on the Snake and Columbia River, BPA's practices have an enormous impact on salmon recovery and the development of clean, renewable power resources. Right now, BPA and the Northwest Power Planning Council, are developing an outline for BPA's next set of contracts with its customers, lasting from 2006-2026. These contracts will have serious implications for our region's energy portfolio and the operation of dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, which largely determine the fate of wild salmon and steelhead in those rivers.
BPA's able and legally mandated to deliver salmon restoration and investments in clean, renewable power and energy efficiency. However, we need to make sure they make good on these promises.
Bonneville Power Administration has a unique and historical role as a leader in promoting the use of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. Bonneville invested $200 million in a world class conservation program in the 1980s and early 1990s because they knew it was the right thing to do for the economy, ratepayers and environment of our region. The same is true today. BPA should continue to lead the Northwest towards a clean energy future.
BPA currently encourages utilities to invest in cost-effective energy efficiency by offering a conservation and renewables discount on the electricity that utilities buy from the Agency. This practice boosted investments in energy efficiency and renewables significantly and set the tone for BPA's role as a steward in the region.
BPA also has a legal mandate to protect and restore endangered salmon in the Columbia and Snake Rivers, but hydropower operations have pushed salmon to the brink of extinction. Independent biologists agree that the only way to bring back healthy salmon runs on the Snake River is to remove four dams on the lower stretch of river, restoring 140 miles of critical spawning and migratory habitat. BPA can reduce the pressure on these dams to produce hydropower by diversifying the energy resources of the Northwest (adding wind, solar and other sources of electricity). A recent report by the RAND Corporation, a nonpartisan think tank, clearly shows that this is possible: we can save endangered salmon by removing the four lower Snake River dams and replacing the electricity with energy conservation and wind power, and create up to 15,000 jobs for the region in the process.
Restore Wild Salmon and speak up for Renewable Energy!
Come to the Portland public meeting to let BPA know that you support the public interest proposal to restore wild salmon, and invest in clean, affordable energy and energy conservation. Even if you don't want to speak, we need people to attend these meetings to show public support.