Merkley Touts Renewable Energy and Increased Access to Financial Services in Bend

Bend – Oregon’s Senator
Jeff Merkley toured Bend today, visiting a leading clean energy business and
helping launch a program to increase rural Oregonians’ access to basic
financial services.

Merkley started his day by
visiting Bend-based PV Powered, the largest U.S.-based manufacturer of solar
power inverter technology.

“PV Powered is creating the jobs
of the future. By channeling the sun’s power to the electric grid, PV Powered
is making the new clean energy economy a reality,” Merkley said. “PV Powered is
reshaping our energy industry, creating jobs and showing the way towards
Oregon’s economic recovery.”

After the PV Powered tour, Merkley
headlined Bank on Central Oregon’s kickoff event. Bank on Central Oregon will
help people who don’t have bank accounts gain access to essential financial
services such as checking, savings, credit, and financial education.

Today’s launch is the first time
that “Bank on,” a program with initiatives in several U.S. cities, has opened
their service in rural communities. Twelve banks and credit unions are
participating in the Bank on Central Oregon program. 

“With 30,000 Central Oregon
households without either a checking or savings account, there are far too many
families lacking the basic foundation of economic security. I’m so proud of
this community for standing up and reversing this imbalance,” Merkley
said.  “I appreciate that so many financial institutions are working with
community groups to find community-based solutions to protect consumers as they
make that first leap into the financial world.  These programs give
families the tools to build a better future. ”

Merkley will end his day by
holding a 7 p.m. town hall at Summit High School at 2855 NW Clearwater Drive in