Speaker Rayfield, Leader Breese-Iverson tour Facebook Data Center, discuss drought and water issues in Central Oregon

The tours and discussions marked the start of the Speaker’s 3-day trip through Central and Eastern Oregon

PRINEVILLE – As part of a three-day trip to Central and Eastern Oregon, House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) joined House Republican Leader Vikki Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville) today for a multi-site tour around Prineville to highlight the region’s growing economic opportunities and discuss ongoing efforts to support local businesses and families impacted drought and water shortages.

“Leader Breese-Iverson and I worked together collaboratively in 2022 and I look forward to continuing this work together on behalf of Oregonians in 2023,” Speaker Rayfield said. “Our time together today allowed for unique insight into the diverse economy and opportunities in Prineville, Crook County and across Central Oregon. My thanks to her and her family for showing incredible hospitality during my time in her community.”

“I am grateful to Speaker Rayfield for accepting my invitation to visit Central Oregon. District work trips are an excellent way to collaborate on solutions outside of Salem. We made several tour stops that highlighted Central Oregon’s diverse economic region and discussed the growing drought and water shortage,” Leader Breese-Iverson said. “I look forward to continuing our positive working relationship next session in order to make Oregon the place people want to live, work, and raise a family.”

Speaker Rayfield and Leader Vikki Breese-Iverson met at her ranch on Monday morning before touring the Facebook Data Center in Prineville and discussing the center’s impact on the local community and broadly in Oregon. In March 2021, Facebook announced adding two more data centers to its existing complex, which was built in 2009.

The legislative leaders then toured the Crooked River Wetlands Complex and discussed with local leaders how the city uses greywater, supplies the Facebook Data Center, and costeffectively returns clean water back into the Crooked River. The 120-acre, multipurpose project is for the City of Prineville to expand wastewater capacity, lower the cost of system development charges, stabilize wastewater rates and more.

Their next stop was to City Hall in Prineville for a discussion with local leaders about projects like Prineville Biomass and efforts by the Ochoco Irrigation District to mitigate the impact of extreme drought in Central Oregon. The City of Prineville and Crook County are pursuing plans to build and operate a 20-megawatt biomass power plant facility in the region to reduce severe wildfire risks, bring new natural resources jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and more.

Speaker Rayfield and Leader Breese-Iverson then traveled to the Dry Creek Airpark to see where Daimler is testing electric trucks and later met with leaders of the North Unit Irrigation District to discuss ongoing drought issues in the district, which is primarily used by farmers in Jefferson County, and opportunities for how these issues can be resolved.

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