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Oregon Department of Energy monitoring impacts of river closures
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Diana Enright, 503-378-8278
Deanna Henry, 503-932-4428
In Oregon 1-800-221-8035

SALEM—The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) Portland and Walla Walla districts will shut down The Dalles, John Day and Lower Monumental dams for 14 weeks beginning on Friday, December 10, 2010 until Friday, March 18, 2011. This extended outage is necessary for USACE to replace the downstream navigation lock gates at these facilities. 
There will be no waterborne transportation on the Columbia/Snake navigation system during the outage. Under normal conditions, gasoline, diesel, aviation fuels, and biofuels are transported by barge from petroleum distribution terminals at the Port of Portland to Pasco, Washington to serve Eastern Oregon communities. 
“Petroleum companies are evaluating all fuel supply points and distribution options throughout the region to ensure adequate supply and timely fuel deliveries to Eastern Oregon and Washington communities throughout the duration of the outage,” says Deanna Henry, Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) Emergency Preparedness Manager.

“Eastern Oregon communities could experience mild supply disruptions during this 14-week period. All fuel supply disruptions should be reported to the ODOE duty officer at 503-370-3500,” says Henry. ODOE will work with petroleum companies to identify the source of the problem and ensure sufficient fuel availability throughout Eastern Oregon. 
Eastern Oregon communities may see higher fuel prices as a result of the extended outage.  Despite this possibility, consumers are asked to report suspected price gouging or price fixing by contacting the Oregon Department of Justice’s toll-free consumer hotline at 1-877-877-9392 or online at www.doj.state.or.us.

Eastern Oregon homeowners and businesses can conserve heating fuel by following these tips:
  • Check out ODOE’s State Home Oil Weatherization (SHOW) program, which helps oil-heated homes become more energy efficient: http://www.oregon.gov/ENERGY/CONS/RES/weather/weahome.shtml 
  • Make sure heating systems are tuned up and running efficiently.
  • Set the thermostat to reduce the temperature when not at home. Use a programmable thermostat.
  • Increase insulation and seal air leaks with caulking or weather-stripping.
ODOE asks motorists in Eastern Oregon communities to save gasoline by following these tips:
  • Drivers should not “top off’ their gas tanks or stockpile gasoline. Doing so will create abnormal demand and unnecessary long lines at the pumps.
  • Save money and fuel by obeying speed limits; using cruise control; and combining errands into fewer trips.
For more energy-saving tips and updates on the fuel outlook in Eastern Oregon during the Columbia-Snake Navigation Lock Outage, visit the ODOE Web site at http://www.oregon.gov/energy under “What’s New.”
About the Department of Energy: The Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) provides tax credits, loans, technical assistance and energy information for homes, businesses, manufacturing, farms, ranches, schools and governments. For more information, visit ODOE’s website at www.oregon.gov/energy.


Oregon Department of Energy
Main OfficeHermiston Field Office
625 Marion St. NE, Salem, OR 97301-3737
395 E Highland Rd.
Phone: 503-378-4040Hermiston, OR 97838
Toll-free in Oregon: 1-800-221-8035P: 541-567-3840
Fax: 503-373-7806