- MOVING FORWARD: A SECTOR-BY-SECTOR APPROACH TO ECONOMIC RECOVERY WEBINAR SERIES
- Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, PNWER had to postpone the 2020 Annual Summit to 2021, and transitioned to hosting webinars for our working groups, presented as the Moving Forward: A Sector-by-Sector Approach to Economic Recovery Webinar Series. This series included more than 15 webinars, 50 expert speakers, and hundreds of participants from across the PNWER region and beyond
- ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP FORUM
- PNWER co-hosted the annual Economic Leadership Forum with the Victoria, B.C. based South Island Prosperity Partnership (SIPP) during their Rising Economy Week in November 2020. Seven webinars over five days explored topics including innovation, border issues, transportation, tourism, and the impact of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election on the U.S.-Canadian relationship. More details and recordings of the webinars can be found at pnwer.org/2020-forum.
- AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES
- PNWER met with several members of the U.S. Congressional delegation and the Army Corps of Engineers to discuss U.S. federal funds for Aquatic Invasive Species in the Columbia River Basin. PNWER advocated for a regional study to explore the impacts of invasive species on the economy and local salmon populations.
- ARCTIC POLICY
- U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (AK), in collaboration with PNWER, hosted the 7th North American Arctic Leaders Forum in Washington, D.C. in early March. This Forum focused on how jurisdictions could work towards a stronger North American Arctic partnership. Senator Murkowski provided a keynote presentation to the group of attendees from several U.S. Federal agencies and private businesses. Several Arctic experts spoke at the Forum and shared insights on the importance of collaborating in the North American Arctic.
- The U.S.-Canadian border was shut down to non-essential travelers March 18, 2020, and has continued to be shut down on a month-by-month basis that is expected to continue through 2021. Fortunately, trade routes and supply chains were minimally disrupted by these shutdowns. PNWER has been working with its partner, the Future Borders Coalition, and supports their Four Principles to Implement a Phased Approach for Easing Canada-U.S. Border Closures and Other Travel Restrictions:
- A bi-national and coordinated approach should be adopted with the objective to develop mutually accepted risk-mitigating measures and health protocols
- Both governments should adopt a layered risk-based approach when reviewing entry requirements and travel restrictions
- A phased approach for easing border restrictions should be informed by science-based criteria and communicated based on easily understood requirements.
- The economic impact of border closures on communities should be carefully assessed by both governments and inform the path towards the easing of border restrictions.
- During the Economic Leadership Forum, PNWER worked with the FBC on the Health, Safety, and Innovation for Smart Borders exploring efforts to apply technology to increase the health, safety, and security of the Canada-U.S. border on land, sea, and air travel.
- PNWER hosted the Ambassador Roundtable Listening Session with Canada’s Ambassador to the U.S. Kirsten Hillman and U.S. Acting Ambassador to Canada, Chargé D’Affaires Katherine Brucker. This session was one of the first of its kind, and gave public and private sector stakeholders a chance to make comments about the U.S.-Canada border and trading relationship.
- COLUMBIA RIVER TREATY
- The Columbia River Treaty negotiations remained a priority for PNWER in 2020. PNWER President Mike Cuffe (MT) discussed the continuation and modernization of the Columbia River Treaty with Canada’s chief CRT negotiator Sylvian Fabi.
- COVID-19 RESPONSE AND RECOVERY
- PNWER began assembling calls of elected officials and economic development leaders across the Pacific Northwest during the first few months of the pandemic. These COVID-19 Response calls provided regional leaders the opportunity to discuss best practices and lessons learned during the crisis. Topics of the calls include Rapid COVID Testing in the U.S. and Canada, Contact Tracing and Exposure Notification Apps, Economic Recovery Dashboards, and Broadband Access as a Tool for Economic Recovery.
- PNWER’s Center for Regional Disaster Resilience (CRDR) also transitioned all of its 2020 programming online, hosting a series of various webinars primarily focused on cybersecurity. The King County Region 6 Critical Infrastructure Working Group’s Cybersecurity Workshop was converted into two webinars: Cyber Threats & Trends: Impacts to the Connected Worker and Cybersecurity: Privacy and Risk.
- The CRDR continued it’s long-standing collaboration with the Idaho Office of Emergency Management through three webinars which provided Idahoans with resources, best practices, and recommendations for the work-from-home transition. The topics included, Tools, Resources & Best Practices for Small & Medium Sized Organizations; Cybersecurity Pandemic Planning for Small & Medium Sized Organizations; and Vulnerabilities when Working From Home
- ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
- PNWER’s Energy working group partnered with NorthWestern Energy and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems to hold a webinar on the future of the Western power grid. The working group has been focused on working with utility executives from across the region to discuss viable solutions for decarbonizing the PNW’s energy grids, including the usage of hydrogen as a clean energy storage mechanism. A recording of Decarbonization, Resilience, and the Future of the Western Power Grid can be viewed online.
- PNWER hosted a webinar on Fighting Fires: Innovative Technology for Wildfire Management, which explored how new and emerging technologies can be used to combat increasingly long and intense wildfire seasons. Speakers from regional companies discussed the technologies and services being utilized and how the public sector can help in the development of new and better technology for wildfire management.
- INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY
- The Innovation working group held several webinars addressing the ways that innovation could help the PNW economy recover during and after the pandemic. The first, Innovating our Way Out of A Crisis: The Four Phases of Response Webinar, explored lessons learned and how to retool the PNW economic region so it emerges stronger than before COVID-19. Two Innovation webinars addressed the opportunities that remote workers can provide to “Zoom Boom” towns. Remote Workers and the Rise of the Main Street highlighted three smaller PNW towns and how they are positioning to grow by leveraging their incumbent capabilities to welcome remote workers. The Zoom Boom session took a deep dive further into this topic by exploring how this workforce migration is changing the cities remote workers are leaving and the places they move to.
- LEGISLATIVE ENERGY HORIZONS INSTITUTE (LEHI)
- The LEHI class of 2020 was unable to meet in person this year, so students accepted into the program will join the class of 2021. This nationally-recognized certificate program is designed to prepare emerging state and provincial leaders to address the complex energy issues facing the region. It provides an extensive overview of the North American energy system, from operating energy systems to financing infrastructure to regulation methods and market impacts. Staff took this unique opportunity to host a series of webinars for LEHI alumni, focusing on a variety of energy-related topics, including Distribution System Planning, Energy Resilience and Infrastructure, and Reimagining Resource Flexibility.
- PNWER’s two mining webinars showcased regional leaders in sustainable mine development and cross-border industry collaboration. Sustainable Development Showcase of the Mining Sector and New Standard for Mining Industry - A Cross-Border Collaborative Approach to Sustainability discussed the importance of community engagement and sustainable development for the mining sector.
- TRADE & TARIFFS
- The U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Trade Agreement entered into force on July 1, 2020. Though the U.S.-Canada border was closed to non-essential travel in March 2020, trade was deemed 'essential' and has continued throughout the pandemic.
- Tourism is a key economic driver in the PNWER region, but was one of the hardest-hit by COVID-19 related shut-downs, especially the closure of the U.S-Canadian border. In response, PNWER has formed a Regional Tourism Task Force and developed a Northwest Regional Tourism Rebound initiative to address the ongoing crisis in the industry. The Task Force aims to facilitate dialogue and collaboration between industry and government to ensure that cross-border tourism is able to resume safely, sustainably, and competitively.
- TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE
- PNWER held several webinars on critical issues that impact North American transportation infrastructure. Road & Rail: Safety in Separation explored the importance of highway-rail grade separation, while the Cutting the Red Tape: Permit Modernization session examined efforts to streamline the permitting process without changing the substance of environmental protections. Both webinars featured U.S. lawmakers discussing the potential impacts of an upcoming federal transportation package, and Canadians highlighting best practices from the mid-2000’s Asia Pacific Gateway project, which successfully bundled and streamlined several transportation projects.
- During the Economic Leadership Forum, the transportation working group held a session on The Future of Flight: Reimagining Sustainable Air Travel Post-COVID. This session worked with our Automated, Connected, Electric and Shared mobility (ACES) partners and electric aviation leaders in the region to discuss the future of aviation technology and how policymakers can support the development of electric advanced air mobility.
- PNWER submitted a Request for Information (RFI) to the U.S. Department of Transportation regarding the Regional Infrastructure Accelerator Program, which PNWER has advocated for since its inclusion in the 2015 FAST Act. The program is accepting applications in the new year.
- ANNUAL SUMMIT
- Over 600 regional legislators, business leaders, academics, and policy makers gathered in Saskatoon, SK on July 21-25 for the 29th PNWER Annual Summit. With 23 working group sessions, 6 keynote plenary sessions, and 7 policy tours, attendees had the opportunity to engage in dialogue, strengthen regional relationships, and address the various challenges that affect the region. Videos, media reports, and the work plan to guide PNWER over the next year are available at www.pnwer.org/2019-summit.
- Advocacy of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) Trade Agreement and removal of Canadian tariffs were top priorities for PNWER in 2019. PNWER leadership issued two statements opposing steel and aluminum tariffs and a statement against tariffs on uncoated paper which was used by Congress in an ITC Hearing, ultimately resulting in the tariffs being lifted. PNWER leadership issued multiple statements in support of USMCA and continued to communicate with the region’s Congressional delegation in Washington D.C. to push ratification of USMCA forward as a top priority for the region. PNWER communicated directly with the region’s Congressional delegation, White House, U.S. Department of Commerce, and U.S. Trade Representative and presented to the Canadian Parliament on the importance of the USMCA.
- COLUMBIA RIVER TREATY
- The Columbia River Treaty negotiations remained a priority for PNWER in 2019. PNWER President Mike Cuffe (MT) and PNWER CEO Matt Morrison participated in the 6th International Columbia River Transboundary Conference in Kimberly, B.C., which was a stakeholder symposium for legislators, tribal groups, utilities, tourism, agriculture, recreation, and more. At the Economic Leadership Forum in Seattle, PNWER hosted a special session led by the Honourable Katrine Conroy, B.C.’s Minister Responsible for the Columbia River Treaty.
- PNWER facilitated regular calls with CBP, Public Safety Canada, other federal and local partners, and private sector carriers to work towards fully implementing preclearance in the Land, Rail, and Marine modes of transportation. PNWER co-chairs the ‘Beyond Preclearance Coalition’ with the Vancouver, BC (YVR) Airport. More information at https://www.beyondpreclearance.org/
- TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE
- PNWER supported the efforts of the Alaska to Alberta (A2A) Railroad coalition by urging President Trump to issue a Presidential Permit for the A2A rail project. The A2A seeks to connect North American goods and passengers, and its construction would provide opportunities to install fiber optic cables.
- PNWER held sessions on Automated, Connected, Electric and Shared (ACES) mobility and the ways it will transform transportation infrastructure. 2019 also saw successful Congressional funding for the Regional Infrastructure Accelerator Program, an effort that PNWER has advocated since its inclusion in the 2015 FAST Act.
- ARCTIC DEVELOPMENT
- Northwest Territories Premier Bob McLeod (Ret.), PNWER Vice President, joined the PNWER delegation in Juneau, AK, and met with Governor Dunleavy and AK Legislators on issues impacting the North. During the PNWER Annual Summit in Saskatoon, speakers showcased the ALCAN Highway and Alaska to Alberta (A2A) rail link. The Summit also featured discussions on Indigenous / First Nations businesses and economic development opportunities for remote communities.
- INVASIVE SPECIES
- With PNWER’s assistance, $21 million U.S. federal matching funds were secured for watercraft inspection stations for the four Northwest states of ID, MT, OR, and WA, to protect the Columbia River Basin. PNWER met with the Congressional delegation, Dept. of Interior, Army Corps of Engineers, and other key agencies multiple times to ensure continued funding. PNWER advocated for a regional study to explore the impacts of invasive species on the economy and local salmon populations.
- PNWER held a Forestry Working Group session during the 2019 PNWER Annual Summit that focused on the impact of wildfires on tourism, public health, and local economies as well mitigation strategies that are being employed across the region.
- UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEMS (UAS)
- PNWER’s Center for Regional Disaster Resilience (CRDR) was awarded a contract from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to work with MT, ID, OR, and WA in 2019 to develop a Concept of Operations (CONOPS) to establish an access control process for each state. Based on this work, the Idaho Governor’s office is planning to appoint a state-wide UAS coordinator, which will be the first of its kind in the U.S.
- PNWER’s Mining Working Group session focused on the economic benefits of mining, the importance of critical mineral development within the region, and the need for collaboration between the U.S. and Canada on this issue. The session featured representatives from the U.S. Department of the Interior as well Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).
- The Legislative Energy Horizon Institute, PNWER’s annual 60-hour certificate program in energy policy, has graduated over 240 state legislators, and Canadian MLA’s to date. 40 legislators, including MLAs from BC and Saskatchewan, participated in the Institute in Richland, Washington, and will meet in Washington DC in November for the second 3-day intensive course. The Annual Summit featured energy sessions covering grid reliability, battery storage, infrastructure resiliency, and permit reform.
- INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY
- PNWER oversaw a Master of Applied International Studies (MAAIS) project in conjunction with the University of Washington’s School of International Studies. This year’s Economic Leadership Forum focused on regional innovation and highlighted innovation across various sectors in the region including sessions on the PNW’s space sector, energy sector, transportation sector, and more. PNWER further promoted innovation by assisting the Cascadia Innovation Corridor in developing a multi-year action plan for the efficient movement of people and goods across the border. PNWER CEO Matt Morrison serves as co-chair of the Cascadia Innovation Corridor’s Efficient People/Goods Movement Across Border working group.
- ANNUAL SUMMIT
- Over 600 regional legislators, business leaders, academics, and policy makers gathered in Spokane, WA, on July 22-26. With 27 working group sessions, 6 keynote plenary sessions, and 7 policy tours, attendees had the opportunity to engage in dialogue, strengthen regional relationships, and address the various challenges that affect the region. Videos, media reports, and the work plan to guide PNWER over the next year are available at www.pnwer.org/2018summit.
- NAFTA AND TRADE
- In 2018, PNWER's NAFTA modernization task force pushed for 10 recommendations, most of which made it into the final USMCA. We have pushed to end the steel and aluminum tariffs between the U.S. and Canada, which is an ongoing challenge today. We also focused on the Columbia River Treaty, transportation infrastructure, invasive species, and other high priority issues facing the region.
- PNWER encouraged the U.S. and Canadian Federal Governments to strive towards a modernized NAFTA that builds upon its current success to further enhance trade and investment in North America. PNWER has communicated with the White House, Department of Commerce, and United States Trade Representative, and presented to the Canadian Parliament on the importance of a tri-lateral NAFTA agreement, Canadian exemption for steel and aluminum tariffs, and the repeal of the tariff on Canadian newsprint. Communications with the White House, the NAFTA Resolution, and Modernization Task Force materials are available at www.pnwer.org/naftamodernization.html.
- PNWER continues to showcase Canadian expertise in public-private partnerships and is working with the Administration and the U.S. Congress to develop a regional accelerator to promote public/private partnerships for regional infrastructure.
- CAPITOLS COMPETING FOR CAPITAL
- Twenty-five state legislators and executive branch officials spent two days in Silicon Valley examining the latest technologies, their application, and policy implications of 5G telecom infrastructure. The small, hands-on, intensive program provided policymakers a greater understanding of where the industry is going and how policies may affect infrastructure investments in our region.
- PNWER has long worked with our partners to establish Harbour to Harbor floatplane service between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., and helped develop a pilot program with CBSA and CBP for bi-national clearance. The one-hour flight is a major boost to tourism and business travelers, and the pilot program began in Spring 2018.
- COLUMBIA RIVER TREATY
- Another key priority for PNWER this year has been the Columbia River Treaty. The Annual Summit included the first and only joint session with stakeholders with both lead negotiators from the US and Canada; Sylvain Fabi, Executive Director, U.S. Transboundary Affairs, Global Affairs Canada and Jill Smail, Columbia River Treaty Negotiator, U.S. Department of State. Stakeholders shared the benefits and impacts of the treaty focusing on ecosystems, tribal concerns, power generation, tourism, agriculture, irrigation, recreation, transportation and more.
- PNWER organized a two-day trip to interior B.C. for 50 leaders to learn from Canadian officials and communities about the impacts of the treaty as well as an additional tour to Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State.
- ARCTIC DEVELOPMENT
- PNWER hosted the 6th Annual North American Arctic Leaders Roundtable held in the U.S. Capital, led by U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young. Representatives from the U.S., Canada, and Greenland, as well as many experts in the Arctic region, discussed collaboration on a North American Arctic strategy.
- The Legislative Energy Horizon Institute, PNWER’s annual 60-hour certificate program in energy policy, has graduated over 240 state legislators and Canadian MLAs to date. 40 legislators, including MLAs from B.C. and Saskatchewan, participated in the Institute in Richland, Washington, and met in Washington D.C. in November for the second 3-day course. The Annual Summit featured 5 energy sessions covering grid reliability, battery storage, infrastructure resiliency, and permit reform.
- DISASTER RESILIENCE
- Earthquake Recovery: PNWER hosted an exercise on post-earthquake disaster recovery effort in Seattle. 125 + energy, transportation, healthcare, education, and other sector leaders attended to discuss planning for the post response - long-term recovery process.
- Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS): PNWER won a national competition and was awarded a grant from the Department of Homeland Security to develop new technologies to utilize drones to quickly assess earthquake damage to critical infrastructure, including roads and bridges, following an earthquake. The project is a joint effort between PNWER and Northeastern University in Boston.
- Cybersecurity: PNWER’s Center for Regional Disaster Resilience procured independent funding from DHS to develop a cyber resilience assessment tool and also a cyber response planning guide for businesses and local governments in the region.
- FOREST MANAGEMENT
- PNWER supported recent federal action to increase wildfire funding. In the past, PNWER has worked with our Congressional leaders and organized working group sessions focused on healthy forest management policies.
- AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES
- PNWER was instrumental in securing $21 million in federal funds for the fight against invasive species for Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Montana over the past 4 years. PNWER has pushed Canadian federal agencies to support provincial efforts and is collaborating with the provinces on an Invasive Mussel Prevention Framework for Western Canada.
- Binational legislators were educated on innovative and sustainable mining practices at the 2018 Annual Summit in Spokane, WA. Mining will be a significant focus at the 2019 Annual Summit in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
- PNWER worked to secure $6 million in federal funds for the fight against invasive species for Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Montana.
- The PNWER NAFTA Modernization Task Force created a survey to gather feedback across North America, and communicated recommendations to parliament, the USTR, and members of congress.
- Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly visited PNWER in April to discuss regional disaster resilience, cross-border concerns, and PNWER’s Preclearance Taskforce.
- PNWER continued DC and Ottawa engagement, meeting with Canadian Ministers, members of Parliament, Congressional leaders, and other officials from our region to discuss NAFTA, transportation, infrastructure funding, and invasive species prevention.
- The 27th Annual Summit in Portland, Oregon, brought together 843 total participants to discuss and work to solve regional challenges.
- The Legislative Energy Horizon Institute, PNWER’s 60 hour certificate program had its 250th legislator graduate from the program in the 2017 cohort, and is now recruiting for 2018.
- PNWER held it’s Legislative Academy and Economic Leadership Forum in Victoria, British Columbia last November addressing transportation, marine health, NAFTA, innovation, and had an informative session exploring the differences between the Canadian and US state and provincial political systems.
- 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.