In July Fall River Electric’s CEO/General Manager Bryan Case had the oportunity to meet with U.S. Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke.
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jim Matheson and two NRECA Board members, Bryan Case (Idaho) and Jeff Peterson (Utah Rural Electric Cooperative Association), participated in an energy CEO meeting with Interior Secretary Zinke in support of reforms to federal land management practices and to modernize Endangered Speci…es Act regulations. Case also spoke to encourage efforts to protect the value of the Federal Columbia River Hydro Power System of which the Bureau of Reclamation operates 10 federal dams.
Matheson, Case and Peterson explained the need for changes that allow timely access to power lines and rights-of-way on public lands for repairs, maintenance, vegetation management and emergency response. They emphasized reducing permit and environmental review timelines for electric infrastructure projects that would boost grid reliability, as well as streamlining reviews for smaller projects.
The potential benefit of this meeting for members of Fall River Electric was the additional discussion to help keep BPA rates competitive (BPA is Fall River’s primary wholesale power provider), to encourage ongoing support by the Department of the federal hydropower system and to request better access for Co-op crews that have to pass through federal properties to work on FRE facilities.