(September 3, 2020) Northwest Public Power Association (Vancouver, Wash.) will be honoring Oregon Rep. Greg Walden with the prestigious Homer T. Bone Award for sustained and remarkable work on behalf of public power at the association’s virtual 80th Annual Meeting on September 10.
For two decades, Congressman Walden has dedicated himself to fighting for the constituents of Oregon’s Second Congressional District, which represents NWPPA members Wasco Electric Cooperative, Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative, Columbia Basin Electric Cooperative, Surprise Valley Electric, Harney Electric Cooperative, Hood River Electric Cooperative, Midstate Electric Cooperative, Northern Wasco PUD, Hermiston Energy Services, and Milton-Freewater Light & Power.
“Rep. Walden has demonstrated his strong support over many years on a wide variety of issues important to consumer-owned electric utilities,” said NWPPA Executive Director Scott Corwin. “He has been forward-thinking in introducing and supporting legislation beneficial to public power and has made himself available to hear issues of importance to public power.”
Walden has been a strong supporter of federal hydropower and has opposed efforts through the federal budget to privatize BPA or to increase its rates. Under his leadership, the House passed several bills to boost hydropower production and to recognize it as renewable energy under federal law.
“He also helped pass comprehensive vegetation management legislation that will allow public power utilities to manage their rights of way, increase system reliability, and help prevent wildfires,” said Wasco Electric Cooperative General Manager Jeff Davis. “Walden has worked hard with his colleagues to pass into law the most significant reforms to forest policy in over 15 years.”
In 2019, he was a champion of the RURAL Act to fix unintended consequences of the tax reform act. This will help co-ops keep their tax-exempt status and still be able to receive grants for disaster assistance. The bill became law at the end of 2019.
In 2014, NWPPA named an association award after Sen. Homer T. Bone in honor of his lifetime work on behalf of public power, including being one of the earliest and strongest supporters of public power in Washington state. He devoted much of his energetic political career going to bat for publicly owned utilities, for which he became known both in Washington state and nationally as “the father of public power.” State or federal elected officials representing constituents in the NWPPA service territory that have demonstrated sustained and remarkable work on behalf of public power are eligible for this award.
About NWPPA: NWPPA is an international association representing and serving more than 155 customer-owned, locally controlled utilities in the Western U.S. and Canada. The Association also serves over 300 associate members across the U.S. and Canada who are allied with the electric utility industry. For more information, visit www.nwppa.org or follow @NWPPAssoc on our social channels.
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