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Greg Walden calls for action to improve America’s energy infrastructure

Cites growing electricity demand in central Oregon as need for modernization

WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Hood River) spoke of the importance of updating America’s energy infrastructure at a hearing of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy today. During his remarks, Walden cited a meeting he held with the Bonneville Power Administration in Prineville, and the outdated electrical grid in the city that is hampering economic development.

“As technology continues to change the way we go about our daily lives, we also have to rethink how we deliver and consume electricity. This could provide opportunities for consumers both large and small to save money and be more competitive,” Walden said. “At a meeting I held in my district one month ago in Prineville, Oregon, they were talking to an outfit that wanted to locate there and bring hundreds of jobs, and do a major buildout. Then they found out the electrical grid is not sufficient to support that. When I pursued that with Bonneville Power Administration and others, they’re telling me it could be two to three years before they could get the capacity this community needs. This community during the downturn had the highest unemployment rate consistently in the state of Oregon. How the heck did we get to this point? When you finally think you have a chance to grow jobs, and put people to work building things, you discover somehow the electrical grid is not up to snuff. And that it could take a couple of years to get it there. That’s not where we want to be. That’s why we’re here today. We have to do a better job of forecasting. We have to clear the roadblocks out of the way that aren’t necessary while still protecting the environment, while still providing appropriate ability for people to weigh in with their views.”

Contact Greg Walden’s Offices:

Washington, DC Office
2185 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6730

Bend Office
1051 NW Bond St. #400
Bend, OR 97701
Phone: (541) 389-4408

La Grande Office
1211 Washington Avenue
La Grande, OR 97850
Phone: (541) 624-2400

Medford Office
14 N. Central Ave. #112
Medford, OR 97501
Phone: (541) 776-4646

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