- PNWER’s Legislative Energy Horizon Institute 2016 graduating class included 21 legislators from the U.S. and Canada and six non-legislative attendees. The certificate program provides an extensive overview of the North American energy system, from operating energy systems to building and financing infrastructure to regulation methods and market impacts. Since the program's inception in 2009, 181 legislators from the U.S. and Canada, along with 13 non-legislative attendees, have received accreditation and graduated.
- In the critical effort to keep invasive freshwater mussels out of the region’s waterways, PNWER worked with congressional leaders to get legislation passed in the U.S. House and Senate to appropriate $4 million to aid state prevention efforts in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington on mussel defense, while amendments pushed by PNWER effectively double federal funding available to those states. In Canada, PNWER helped establish the Western Canada Invasive Species Agreement, a coordinated regional defense against invasive species that will focus first on mussels.
- To address safety issues surrounding oil-by-rail, PNWER’s Center for Regional Disaster Resilience (CRDR) hosted the Oil Train Safety Symposium in April in Tacoma, Washington. The symposium brought together 200 attendees, including first responders, legislators, industry professionals and government regulators to address oil train safety concerns in a regional context.
- PNWER’s 26th Annual Summit in Calgary, Alberta featured 546 attendees, including 61 state, provincial and territorial legislators; 11 MPs and senators; 8 provincial ministers and 46 corporate CEOs or VPs. In 22 Working Group Sessions and six keynote meals, delegates discussed major economic and environmental challenges and opportunities in the region and shared challenging ideas.
- PNWER has continued to provide input from regional stakeholders to both federal governments for the Beyond the Border Action Plan and U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council. As part of this effort, PNWER hosted monthly conference calls with federal agencies and private sector transportation and tourism operators from the US and Canada to discuss the implementation of Preclearance.
- PNWER worked with the Idaho Office of Emergency Management to develop a statewide Cybersecurity workshop to help business owners, IT personnel and critical systems operators understand current and future cyber threats and helped build a statewide cybersecurity action plan based on participants' recommendations.
- PNWER Officers met with state, provincial and federal leaders during our annual capital visits in Boise, Salem, Olympia, Victoria, Ottawa and Washington DC. These visits helped our leadership understand specific issues each jurisdiction is facing and communicate top regional priorities to both federal governments. Building relationships and trust with our federal and state/provincial/territorial leaders is a top priority for PNWER and our partners.
2014 - 2015
- After a year-long development process, PNWER’s Invasive Species working group presented at the summit a Regional Framework for Perimeter Defense against invasive zebra and quagga mussels, which provides an outline for how to coordinate the prevention of mussel invasions across state, provincial, and U.S.-Canada borders.
- Our 2015 Summit in Big Sky, Montana brought together 532 legislators, leaders of industry, government staff and innovators in academia and the non-profit sector to address major regional challenges and opportunities. See working group action items, presentations and more information from the Summit.
- PNWER Delegates visited Ottawa in June to meet Canadian federal ministers, U.S. Ambassador Bruce Heyman, and leaders in government and the private sector.
- PNWER’s Center for Regional Disaster Resilience gathered input from first responders and stakeholders for developing FirstNet and Access Pass Initiatives in May.
- We are developing a white paper for our Roadmap to Resilient Net-Zero Buildings and Deep Energy Retrofits in the Pacific Northwest, which works to facilitate the achievement of Net-Zero emissions and energy use for new buildings by 2030 and encourages the reduction of energy use and emissions production in existing buildings through the comprehensive renewal of existing building stock.
- PNWER has continued to provide input from regional stakeholders to both federal governments for the Beyond the Border Initiative and U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council. Many of these recommendations have been included in work plans from the Regulatory Cooperation Council.
- Our fourth North American Arctic Leaders Forum in Washington D.C. brought together key representatives from the North American Arctic, including government leaders from Alaska and the Northwest Territories, leaders of Aboriginal organizations from Alaska and also private sector stakeholders to discuss effective policy in the vital Arctic region.
- The Center for Regional Disaster Resilience held the Emerald Downs IV Cyber Security Workshop in Auburn, Washington in March. The workshop engaged public and private sector representatives to learn about current cyber threats and ways to integrate information technology and physical security.
- PNWER Delegations met with government and private-sector leaders in Juneau, Olympia, Boise, Salem and Helena early in 2015 to share accomplishments and identify regional concerns.
- PNWER holds the Economic Leadership Forum in Seattle, Washington. More than 230 delegates met to address transportation and market-access issues in rail capacity, advance the Roadmap to Resilient Net-Zero Buildings and Deep Energy Retrofits and discuss other major regional issues. The event featured the Converge@Seattle Innovation Summit and the Disaster Resilience for Legislators Workshop, which shared best legislative policies in disaster response, was held at the meeting.
- PNWER’s Center for Regional Disaster Resilience holds the Boise Cyber Security Workshop in Idaho with the Idaho Department of Homeland Security.
- PNWER’s Center for Regional Disaster Resilience facilitated the Seattle Disaster Recovery Planning Workshop. The workshop gathered valuable stakeholder input to guide the ongoing development of the Seattle Disaster Recovery Framework.
- PNWER President and PNWER Arctic Caucus leadership participated in the “Passing the Arctic Torch” conference in Washington, D.C. prior to the U.S. assuming chairmanship of the Arctic Council.
- Completion of the Puget Sound Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program Supply Chain Project.
- The Legislative Energy Horizon Institute (LEHI) brought together 34 state and provincial legislative energy leaders for its sixth year in Richland, WA. The Legislative Energy Horizon Institute (LEHI) educates state legislators on the North American energy infrastructure and delivery system.
- PNWER held its 24th Annual Summit in Whistler, B.C. with nearly 600 state and provincial legislators, business and civic leaders, and local government organizations in attendance. The Summit addressed a variety of topics during the 22 working group sessions such as energy; transportation; cross-border collaboration on how to address invasive species and border issues.
- PNWER’s Energy & Environment working group put forth the creation of a Roadmap to Netzero Construction and Deep Retrofits by 2030. This roadmap focuses on how to achieve net zero emissions for new buildings in the region by 2030 and encouraging the reduction of energy/emissions of existing buildings.
2012 – 2013
- Idaho Governor Butch Otter signed an Executive Order creating the PNWER Idaho Council. The purpose of the PNWER Idaho Council is to ensure the Executive Branch is represented and integrated with the Legislative branch and the private sector to address issues impacting Idaho and the rest of the region. PNWER is exploring similar arrangements in the other PNWER states as well.
- PNWER held the annual Economic Leadership Forum in Banff, Alberta in Nov. 2013. The agenda focused on Transportation, Energy, Workforce and Innovation and included several tours focused on heavy equipment manufacturing and coin minting.
- PNWER Hosted the 3rd Legislative Leadership Academy in Victoria, B.C. with over 40 U.S. and Canadian legislators to explore the practical differences between the U.S. and Canadian political systems.
- PNWER hosted the first regional Energy Storage meeting in Victoria B.C. and formed the PNWER Energy Storage Coalition. This group met in Oct. 2012 in Portland, Ore. with Public Utility Commissioners from Washington and Oregon to explore the implications of this growing field and its impact on energy planning in our region.
- PNWER Legislators from several states and provinces traveled to Ottawa and met with key Canadian Federal Ministers, including Prime Minister Harper. These meetings allowed our region to have a voice on a national level regarding improved cross border trade and security and provided important input to the U.S. – Canada Beyond the Border and Regulatory Cooperation Council Action Plan.
- Announcement of the U.S. – Canada Beyond the Border and Regulatory Cooperation Council Action Plans. PNWER played a significant role in providing input during the development of these action plans by assembling and then submitting over 66 recommendations from stakeholders on needed improvements to enhance trade and security between our two nations. Because of this, PNWER was recognized by both ambassadors for this effort.
- PNWER legislators visited Juneau, Olympia, Boise, Whitehorse and Regina during legislative sessions in 2012. PNWER delegates participated in a number of committee hearings and meetings with leadership to discuss important regional issues impacting our shared economy.
- PNWER facilitated the 6th Annual Critical Infrastructure Interdependencies Forum at the Microsoft Campus in Redmond, Wash. The Forum focused on economic recovery after a major disaster. This event brought together emergency managers from four of Washington’s largest jurisdictions with over 75 private sector companies and 35 government agencies to discuss the development of disaster recovery plans.
- PNWER leaders took part in Regulatory Cooperation Council Meetings in Washington, D.C. to serve as the voice of the region in important discussions related to U.S. – Canada regulations involving Crop Protection Products, Livestock Transport, Meat and Poultry Inspection, Foreign Animal Disease Zoning, Veterinary Drugs, and several other topics listed in the RCC Action Plan.
- Hosted regional university presidents during the PNWER Summit. Nine presidents and four senior administrators were present representing three American and ten Canadian universities:
University of Idaho
Portland State University
University of Saskatchewan
University of Northern British Columbia
Royal Roads University
University of Lethbridge
Grant MacEwan University
University of Calgary
Justice Institute of British Columbia
University of Regina
- Hosted meetings of the state / provincial energy chairs to coordinate on regional energy policy and share best practices. Senator Cliff Larsen currently chairs our Energy working group.
- Organized regional delegation trips to Washington D.C. and met with Alaskan congressional delegation to discuss regional issues.
- Held the 4th Annual Cross Border Livestock Health Conference with over 75 state and provincial veterinarians and public and private animal health leaders to address issues impacting our region. This group also held monthly conference to share best practices and coordinate on livestock health issues, including the development of a regional proposal for Electronic Certification of Livestock shipments across the border.
- PNWER received funding from a Port Security grant to work with several ports, counties and cities in Washington to develop a Maritime Social Media System to prevent and mitigate disasters in the region. This innovative project will allow emergency managers and security personnel to utilize social media to provide a real-time situational awareness picture during any incident. The system, First To See, involves the development of a smart phone app and a social media aggregation tool designed to compile and sort feeds from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media sites.
- The Energy Council partnered with PNWER to host an annual three-day conference in Washington D.C. focused on state and provincial energy issues.
- PNWER hosted a one-day Arctic Caucus conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. with regional congressional leaders to discuss the importance of Arctic issues on the region. The meeting featured Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich from Alaska as well as members of the U.S. State Department and Canadian Embassy.
- The U.S. Coast Guard and Transport Canada partnered with PNWER to launch the U.S. – Canada Maritime Commerce Resumption Strategy project focused on ports in Washington and British Columbia. The project involved over 250 stakeholders from across the region and involved several workshops and a tabletop exercise to design communication and information sharing protocols to quickly recover from a maritime incident. This was a major problem recently with hurricane Sandy on the eastern seaboard.
- PNWER partnered with the Washington Economic Development Council, UW Bothell and the province of Saskatchewan to develop an Innovation Visualization Project focused on mapping the region’s innovation assets. This project is intended to identify the region’s key Innovation assets and encourage better collaboration across state and provincial boundaries.
- PNWER Hosted semi-annual Washington First Coalition meetings with business continuity and emergency planners from regional banks and insurance companies. These meetings allow for the financial sector to better collaborate to plan for catastrophic incidents and work with government leaders to quickly recover after an event.
- PNWER hosted the annual Arctic Caucus Meeting in Whitehorse, Yukon. This meeting focused on tourism marketing and connections; research and innovation; development corporations: regional economic engines; regional priorities and perspectives of the first two years of the caucus; and policy best practices Yukon Environmental and Socioeconomic Assessment Act (YESAA). More than 50 delegates attended the Whitehorse gathering, including legislators and business leaders from Yukon, Alaska and the Northwest Territories, as well as from Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, and Ottawa.
- PNWER helped facilitate a Stakeholder Roundtable with the Canadian Consulate with Mr. Simon Kennedy, who was the Canadian lead on the Beyond the Border Action Plan. This session allowed private sector stakeholders to provide direct input on the impact of the Beyond the Border Action plan and potential improvements necessary to improve U.S. – Canada trade and security.
- PNWER worked with regional labor leaders in Wash. and Ore. and the province of Alberta to explore temporary worker visa options to fill thousands of job openings in the Alberta Oil Sands with unemployed skilled workers from neighboring states, especially U.S. veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. The Edmonton Economic Development Corporation hosted a job recruiting event in Seattle, Wash. for several Alberta energy companies.
- PNWER continued to host the Legislative Energy Horizon Institute certificate program for state/provincial/territory legislators, together with partners, including the University of Idaho, the US Department of Energy, and Natural Resources Canada. This Nine month, 60 credit hour program was designed for legislators to understand the fundamentals of how the energy infrastructure functions. The course graduation was held at the Canadian Embassy in Washington DC. Over 80 legislators have now graduated from the program.
- PNWER hosted a Regional Innovation Roundtable in Seattle, Wash. with key public and private sector leaders involved in Innovation planning. Regional leaders in entrepreneurship, business development and start-up financing took center stage at the first annual Pacific Northwest Innovation Summit, September 17- 18, 2012, held as part of Seattle Center’s 50th anniversary celebration. The meeting included discussions on what makes successful innovation and collaboration in the region, and the role that start-ups, angel and venture capital play in this success.
- PNWER participated in National Homeland Security Advisers Meeting in Seattle, Wash. and provided a briefing to the Homeland Security Directors from across the United States on the work PNWER is leading in Regional Disaster Resilience Planning.
- PNWER held the 23rd Annual Summit in Anchorage, Alaska in July 2013 where over 500 regional public and private sector leaders gathered to discuss issues impacting our region. These meetings resulted in the PNWER Action Plan and focuses on 17 topics such as energy, transportation, workforce, water policy and other topics important to the future of our region.
- PNWER hosted the Emerald Down Cyber Security Seminar and Exercise in September in Seattle, Wash. for over 100 public and private sector cyber leaders across the region. This event focused on a real world scenario impacting our region’s critical infrastructure cyber assets and the overall response effort during a major disruption.