Energize Northwest was founded by Herbert Burke as an outgrowth of the unpublished editorial he wrote in 2011. He began thinking about what we in Washington (state) can do to expand our economy since Washington (D.C.) was not doing much of anything. He wanted to develop a unique economic boost for Washington State that could not be duplicated or outsourced elsewhere. Burke spent much of his time researching on the internet for data to support his idea (too much time in his wife’s view). Washington State has some great economic engines in Boeing, Microsoft, biotech industries, and other high-tech businesses, but all of them could relocate elsewhere if they desired. He focused on the uniqueness of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation (Official Department of Energy (DOE) Hanford site) and the Columbia River system’s huge hydroelectric power network. He thought that we could combine these unique resources to make Washington State the Energizer Bun… (We can’t use “Energizer Bunny.” he checked.) of the Northwest?
Several other facts shaped his focus. First, the domain names “EnergizeWashington” or energize combined with any state’s name, were taken. Second, Idaho is deeply involved in the nuclear industry with the Idaho National Laboratory. More importantly, the Columbia River system, that backbone of the state’s energy production, drains much of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia, as well as parts of Montana, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. (Columbia River System Map and “Inside Story” by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) an 80 pg pdf). Therefore, he expanded his concept to include all of the Northwest and we became Energize Northwest! On the internet, we answer to EnergizeNW.com or EnergizeNorthwest.com.
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