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Power Council Snubs Oregon

by Linda Ashton, Associated Press
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 18, 2002

YAKIMA -- The Northwest Power Planning Council yesterday refused to change the way it elects a chairman, raising the possibility that Oregon could withdraw from the four-state compact that sets policy for power availability and fish and wildlife protection.

The dispute over the chairmanship grew out of a decision by the council in January to elect Washington council member Larry Cassidy to a third term as chairman -- scrapping its own bylaws limit of two terms -- over Oregon's Eric Bloch, who, as vice chairman, expected to succeed Cassidy. In May, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber wrote to the governors of the other council states -- Washington, Idaho and Montana -- and proposed that the council bylaws be changed to require a rotation of the chairmanship among the states every two years.

The governors of the three states each wrote in response that they consider the election of a council chairman to be an internal matter for the council.

If the council refused, Bloch said last week, Oregon might pull out of the compact -- which was something it did for two months in 1990, also in an effort to win the chairmanship.

Linda Ashton, Associated Press
Power Council Snubs Oregon
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 18, 2002

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