IBEW electrical union backs keeping Snake River dams

At IBEW Local 77, we take pride in being the vibrant hub of skilled electrical workers, consistently driving progress and innovation in our field.

But maintaining a reliable, affordable electric grid is becoming much more challenging. A recent report from the Washington state Commerce Department has forecasted a doubling of the state’s electricity demand by 2050. And, a 2022 Bonneville Power Administration-commissioned study underscored the potential for rate impacts for public power customers should the lower Snake River dams be dismantled under a deep decarbonization future.

It is with this knowledge in mind that IBEW Local 77 proudly endorses Northwest RiverPartners, a not-for-profit that advocates for hydropower on behalf of a coalition of public power utilities, ag groups, and labor. Like IBEW Local 77, Snohomish PUD is a Northwest RiverPartners’ member, and we commend the utility for its support.

Recent efforts of anti-hydropower groups to attack the funding sources of Northwest RiverPartners run contrary to what’s good for electricity customers and electrical workers in our region. For example, Snohomish PUD customers benefit more from BPA’s hydropower than any utility in the region, helping keep electricity rates much lower than the nationwide average.

BPA also has the smallest carbon footprint of any large grid operator in the nation. Reliable sources of carbon-free energy, like the lower Snake River dams, will become even more important as our state moves toward EVs, electric ferries and electric heating of homes and buildings.

As we stand at the crossroads of environmental responsibility and energy demands, let us remain united in our pursuit of a sustainable future-one that preserves the vitality of our workforce and the reliability of our power sources.

Rex Habner

I.B.E.W. Local 77


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