Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Pend Oreille PUD Resolves Dispute with Andritz, Completes Turbine Upgrade Project (Pend Oreille PUD, Newport, WA)

(NEWPORT, WA) – Pend Oreille PUD has formally resolved all outstanding issues with Andritz Hydro relating to the Turbine Upgrade Project at Box Canyon Dam. For more than three years, Andritz has claimed over $23 million in additional monies from the PUD on the Project. The PUD contested the claims. The resolution allows the PUD to pay Andritz the remaining contract balance and officially conclude the project—avoiding almost $13 million in additional debt on the project.

“With any project of this magnitude and extended duration there are going to be disagreements,” said PUD General Manager, Colin Willenbrock. “I am pleased with the dedication our team showed to protect our customers and save the PUD a significant amount of money.”

The dispute arose from a contract for the refurbishment of four turbine generator units at Box Canyon Dam in Ione. The contract called for the replacement of the original 5-blade Kaplan style turbines with a more fish-friendly, 4-blade Kaplan style. The nameplate capacity of the generating units was also increased from 72 megawatts to 90 megawatts.

The work was to be performed in four phases—one for each unit—and specified that time was of the essence. Andritz presented a bid price of $68,944,200.00 and guaranteed completions within 2,255 days of the notice to proceed, with separate guaranteed completion dates for substantial completion of each unit. The project ended up being 588 days behind schedule. There were also 55 different approved change orders on the project totaling $13,609,615.45.

The primary issues in dispute were 41 claims for additional work Andritz had submitted at the very end of the project and the PUD’s assessment of liquidated damages for time delays. Andritz submitted its separate claims to the PUD for additional time and money without following the contract process or providing appropriate supporting documentation. The PUD withheld roughly $5.88 million under the contract for Andritz’s failure to meet project completion dates. Andritz argued its delays were excusable due to the additional work required, and demanded interest on all retained funds.

The parties attempted negotiations, including formal mediation, and ultimately ended up in binding arbitration under the terms of the contract. The nine-day arbitration in Spokane was cut short after the parties came to agreement. The PUD will pay Andritz the remaining contract balance of roughly $10.9 million, which includes statutory retainage and interest, as well as approved cost-plus change orders. The PUD will receive credit for 160 days of project delay. The final contract price totaled $88 million.

“After over 50 years of Box Canyon operations, the Commission made the difficult but prudent decision to invest in the future and modernize the plant,” said PUD Board President, Dan Peterson. “It’s finally done after ten-plus years thanks to the hard work and dedication of our PUD management team and staff. We are extremely proud of their courage and dedication in defending the interests of our customer-owners." We are extremely proud of their courage and dedication in defending the interests of our customer-owners."

The PUD commissioned the fourth and final unit in January 2015 and completed some minor warranty work on one of the units in 2016. Final project close-out was all that remained. Total plant upgrades, including the new turbines, step-up transformers, governors, plant wiring, cool water piping, and other components were funded through $143.8 million in revenue bond issuances. The PUD is anticipating one final bond issuance in the fall of 2018 to fund the upstream fish passage facility required as mitigation under its 50-year FERC license. The license expires in 2055.

Northwest Public Power Association Honors 2018’s Annual Award Winners (NWPPA)

(VANCOUVER, WA) – Last week, at its 78th Annual Conference and Membership Meeting in Boise, Idaho, Northwest Public Power Association (NWPPA) presented the following awards to individuals within the public power community.

Homer T. Bone Award

This award honors a state or federal legislator (elected official) who has demonstrated sustained and remarkable work on behalf of public power. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R–Alaska) has been a champion of public power rights during her time in public office, starting as an Alaska state representative and throughout her 15 years in the U.S. Senate. She was a co-sponsor of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Two years later, in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, Murkowski sponsored several improvements to spur renewable energy development, particularly for hydroelectric, marine hydrokinetic, and geothermal power projects. She is now the lead sponsor of the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017, which is the first major effort to modernize energy law in over a decade.

Paul J. Raver Community Service Award

This award honors an individual or company who has demonstrated superior leadership in the betterment of cities, states, or regions. NWPPA honored three individuals this year: Gary Hicks (posthumously) of Asotin County PUD (Clarkston, Wash.), Bryan Wolfe of Umatilla Electric Cooperative (Ore.), and Randy Smith of Chelan PUD (Wenatchee, Wash.).

Gary Hicks served the Asotin County PUD and the community for 32 years. He was elected into office in 1984 at the same time the Asotin County PUD No. 1 was authorized by the voters. Previous to the authorizing vote, Hicks was a champion for the formation of the PUD, actively working and campaigning to see it become a reality. Since its inception, Hicks guided the PUD with exceptional leadership and commitment. His dedication to the philosophy of Page 2 of 4 publicly owned utility districts and its customer-owners never wavered. At the time of his death, he was the only living PUD commissioner in Washington State to have helped successfully form a PUD and serve on its board of commissioners.

Bryan Wolfe of Hermiston, Ore., has represented District No. 3 on the Umatilla Electric Cooperative Board of Directors since 1997; he transitioned to board president in 2011. Wolfe has been a UEC Board officer during a period where the cooperative is expanding and rebuilding at a pace not seen at UEC in 40 years. Driven by growth in farming, food processing, and industry, UEC has become the largest electric cooperative in the 10 western states in terms of power sales. Wolfe has championed his city, state, and region through over 40 years of volunteer service. In the public power industry, he has served on local (UEC), state (ORECA), and national (NRECA) boards of directors.

Randy Smith has been a Chelan County PUD commissioner for 12 years. In that time, he has held every leadership role on the commission. He was elected during a tumultuous time at the utility, providing a steady hand and reasoned approach. His wisdom helped guide the utility through the tough years of the 2008-11 recession, helping Chelan PUD rebound financially and in reputation with local customer-owners, as well as the broader region. The energy community outside of Chelan County also knows his deep commitment to public power. In 2017, he was secretary of the Washington Public Utility District Association, as well as chair of WPUDA’s Energy Committee.

NWPPA President’s Award

This award honors outstanding service and work on behalf of the industry and the Association. NWPPA honored two individuals this year: Duke Harris of Clearwater Power Co. (Lewiston, Idaho) and Jim Petersen of Vigilante Electric Cooperative (Dillon, Mont.).

Duke Harris retired from the Clearwater Power Company Board of Directors on March 1, 2018, after serving over 39 years. Since joining the board in 1979, he had held the offices of president, vice president, and secretary-treasurer over the years. He had also completed the NRECA Credentialed Cooperative Director, Board Leadership, and Director Gold Certifications. Harris was chosen by the Clearwater Power Board of Directors to be their Idaho Statewide Association representative as well as to represent the State of Idaho on the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Board of Directors, serving for six years. He also served on the NWPPA Board of Trustees.

Jim Petersen has been a member of the Vigilante Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees for over 40 years. During that time, he has served as president, vice president, and trustee with the cooperative. He has also served as president and trustee of Montana Energy Alliance, a propane subsidiary owned partially by Vigilante Electric Cooperative. Petersen and his wife own a ranch and feedlot south of Dillon. He is a very strong family man, businessman, and community-involved leader.

William “Bill” McCorie Distinguished Service Award

This award honors individuals who have served the interest of public power and NWPPA in an outstanding manner. NWPPA honored two individuals this year: Ben Frantz of Barrow Utilities & Electric Cooperative (Alaska) and Doug Hardy of Central Montana Electric Power Cooperative (Great Falls, Mont.).

For more than 46 years, Ben Frantz has served the public power industry through his long and distinguished career in the electric utility industry and through extensive volunteer service to his community and the industry. His career is a solid path of ascension at North Slope Borough Power & Light and later at Barrow Utilities and Electric Cooperative, where he has served as its general manager for nearly 20 years. He is now in his third, two-year term as president of the APA Board and he serves on the following committees: Executive Committee, Managers’ Forum, Government Affairs Committee, ACRE CARE Political Action Committee, and the Membership Committee.

General Manager Doug Hardy is well respected in the utility service by many. He is a leader and go-to guy for questions on anything pertaining to co-ops and power. Outside of Central Montana Electric Power Cooperative, Hardy has participated on various industry boards and committees over the years, including the Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association Power Supply Committee, Legislative Committee (chairman), and Dues Formula Committee; ACRE Committee and its board of directors; NWPPA Board of Trustees; Mid-West Electric Consumers Association Board of Directors (vice president), Organization Committee (co-chair), and Water & Power Planning Committee; Missouri River Recovery Implementation Committee; and NRECA Nominating Committee.

Associate Member Plaque of Appreciation

This award honors an associate member for outstanding service and work on behalf of the Association and its membership.

Dan Kessler of Cooperative Finance Corporation has been a strong supporter of NWPPA over the years and his organization has been an annual meeting sponsor many times throughout the years. He has a long, successful history in the Northwest with utilities, having also worked at a utility before being scooped up by CFC as their Northwest representative. Many have seen him on the golf course, but more have seen and experienced his helpfulness and training over the years via CFC.

Life Membership Award

This award is presented to policymakers and managers who are retiring from member utilities and have made notable contributions to the Association and public power.

This year there were five recipients: Bill Gaines of Tacoma Public Utilities (Wash.), John Gerstenberger of Hood River Electric Cooperative (Ore.), Terry Kelly of Salem Electric (Ore.), Mark Reddemann of Energy Northwest (Richland, Wash.), and Les Teel of Columbia REA (Walla Walla, Wash.).

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Hood River Electric Cooperative Hires Libby Calnon for GM Position (Northwest Public Power Association)

(HOOD RIVER, OR) – The Hood River Electric Cooperative (Ore.) Board of Directors has selected Libby Calnon to serve as the co-op’s next general manager. Calnon will replace John Gerstenberger, who is retiring next month after 32 years of service to members.

Calnon has 20 years of experience in public power and serves as the community and public relations supervisor at Columbia River PUD in Deer Island, Ore. In that role, she represents the PUD within the community, advocates for customers on regional industry issues, and collaborates with others for projects related to economic development, strategic planning, outage management, emergency response, and efforts to improve services for customers. She is the third generation in her family to work in the electric utility industry.

“I’m blessed to have this opportunity,” Calnon said. “HREC is a well-run cooperative and it will be my goal to continue to build upon their long tradition of providing excellent service and affordable rates to members.”

Calnon earned a Master of Business Administration from Western Governors University and a Bachelor of Science in technical journalism from Oregon State University. She is currently working toward her Cooperative Finance Professional Certificate through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Calnon and her husband, Rick, have two grown children. They are looking forward to moving to the Hood River Valley, where they have family ties.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Chelan PUD in the Top Five Public Utilities in the U.S. to Receive S&P AA+ Stable Rating (Washington PUD Association)

(WENATCHEE, WA) -- Chelan County PUD received some outstanding news from S&P Global Ratings (S&P) as a result of a recent review announced May 16. S&P upgraded the PUD's Consolidated System debt to AA+/Stable from AA/Stable. This rating puts Chelan PUD in the top five public utilities highly rated by S&P. The AA+/Stable rating matches one received from Fitch Ratings in October 2008 and affirmed in September 2017.

Some of the reasons for the S&P rating upgrade include:
  • Chelan PUD's very strong risk management and financial policies
  • Rapidly declining debt 
  • Improved cash position/liquidity
  • Experienced management team
  • Extremely low-cost power 
S&P noted that the PUD achieved these accomplishments without a retail rate increase in six years. The PUD's low rates give the utility financial flexibility. In addition to the PUD's financial strength and stability, the low operating costs from  hydropower generation also contributed to the positive review. S&P also commented on the PUD's surplus generation hedging practices as beneficial to reducing the impact of energy market volatility on the PUD's revenues.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Launching Negotiations to Modernize the Columbia River Treaty Regime (U.S. Department of State)

(WASHINGTON, DC) — The United States is pleased to announce the start of negotiations with Canada to modernize the Columbia River Treaty regime on May 29-30, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

The 1964 Treaty’s flood risk and hydropower operations have provided substantial benefits to millions of people on both sides of the border.  The Treaty, a worldwide model for transboundary water cooperation, has also facilitated additional benefits such as supporting the river’s ecosystem, irrigation, municipal water use, industrial use, navigation, and recreation.  Modernizing the Treaty regime will ensure these benefits continue for years to come.

As the United States enters these bilateral negotiations with our Canadian counterparts, our key objectives include continued, careful management of flood risk; ensuring a reliable and economical power supply; and better addressing ecosystem concerns.  Our objectives are guided by the U.S. Entity Regional Recommendation for the Future of the Columbia River Treaty after 2024, a consensus document published in 2013 after years of consultations among the Northwest’s Tribes, states, stakeholders, public, and federal agencies.

The U.S. negotiating team will be led by the U.S. Department of State and will include the Bonneville Power Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Northwestern Division (which together comprise the “U.S. Entity” that implements the Treaty in the United States); the Department of the Interior; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

As negotiations proceed, the U.S. government will continue to engage regional stakeholders, Tribes, state government officials, and other interested groups.

For more information regarding upcoming Town Halls open to the public, please contact  For press inquiries, please contact

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Bonneville Power Administration Employees’ Skills on Display at Oregon Tradeswomen’s Career Fair (Bonneville Power Administration)

(PORTLAND, OR) – Bonneville Power Administration employees will participate in the Oregon Tradeswomen’s 2018 Career Fair on May 18 and 19 at National Electrical Contractors Association and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers training center. BPA representatives will share their experiences and demonstrate some of the skills they use to keep hydropower flowing in the Northwest.

The Oregon Tradeswomen’s Career Fair features workshops and exhibits staffed by volunteers who are successful in their careers and are committed to encouraging women and young girls to explore opportunities in non-traditional fields.

“The career fair is an opportunity for BPA to reach out to women and girls who are interested in vocations vital to the utility industry,” said Janet Herrin, BPA’s chief operating officer. “We strive to promote a diverse, inclusive work environment, and this event gives us the chance to reach out to our future workforce and promote BPA and the Department of Energy as employers of choice.”

Cristi Sawtell has represented BPA at the annual career fair for more than a decade. She says finding success in non-traditional careers takes a tremendous amount of courage, strength and initiative. She believes events such as the Oregon Tradeswomen’s Career Fair are critical to encouraging girls and women to think about their futures in a new way.

“Every year I see participants get involved in activities and I see a spark when they realize these are exciting careers that are within their reach,” said Sawtell, who was BPA’s first female lineworker and is currently a transmission field compliance specialist. “This career fair provides a good variety of hands-on activities, the majority of them being led by women.”

The event takes place at the NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center at 16021 NE Airport Way, Portland, Oregon. Sawtell and other BPA tradeswomen will be speaking to students attending with their schools on May 18, and to the public May 19 at the Careers for Women Day. They’ll be discussing various opportunities in the trades and demonstrating skills such as surveying and exothermic welding, a process used by BPA’s high voltage electricians and lineworkers.

Bonneville Power Administration is a sponsor of the Oregon Tradeswomen’s 2018 Career Fair. Learn more about the event at or contact Mary Ann Naylor of Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. at 503-335-8200, extension 26, or 503-819-9201.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Washington Licensing Director Stepping Down (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(OLYMPIA, WA) – Washington Department of Licensing Director Pat Kohler is stepping down.

Some Latino and community groups have been calling for her removal following revelations in January that the agency was routinely sharing residents’ personal information with immigration-enforcement authorities.

In his statement about the resignation, Gov. Jay Inslee didn’t directly address the issue but said it is important that the next director be “fully committed to our ongoing efforts to protect the personal information and data of every Washingtonian.”

Kohler’s resignation takes effect June 30.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Ruralite Services to Acquire Energy NewsData’s News and Information Services (Ruralite Services, Hillsboro, OR)

Deepens presence in core energy markets in the West

(Hillsboro, OR, Seattle, WA) – Ruralite Services, Inc (RSI) and Energy NewsData today announced the two companies have entered into a purchase and sale agreement by which RSI will acquire the publishing and other assets of Energy NewsData. The board of directors of RSI and the shareholders of NewsData have approved the transaction, which is expected to be completed by mid-May.

“We are excited about bringing together arguably the West’s two most respected energy-sector communications companies,” said RSI CEO Michael Shepard. “Though Ruralite has been historically focused on helping utilities deliver news and information to consumers and NewsData’s forte has been independent, in-depth coverage of the industry and energy issues, we think both entities will greatly benefit from the acquisition.”

“I am extremely pleased that Cyrus' legacy will continue with Ruralite,” said Mary Noe, Energy NewsData Vice President and Controller. Noe is the widow of Cyrus Noe, who founded NewsData in 1982, retired in 2014 and who died in 2017.

The acquisition significantly enhances RSI’s editorial presence in the energy industry in the Western U.S. A new wholly-owned RSI subsidiary will operate all of NewsData’s publications and other offerings. NewsData’s four subscription-based newsletters circulate to thousands of energy professionals in the West and beyond:

  • Clearing Up, covering the greater Pacific Northwest, published weekly
  • California Energy Markets, focused on California and the Southwest, published weekly
  • Water Power West, covering water power issues, development and hydro relicensing in Western North America, published every other month 
  • NW Fishletter, which centers on the interplay of salmon and the Northwest hydroelectric system, published monthly.
Other NewsData services include a weekly report on Western wholesale electricity and natural gas prices; a Northwest seasonal fish-tracking report; and an energy jobs portal. The company also has branched out in recent years to cosponsor specialized conferences focused on energy issues covered by the newsletters. These offerings are also being acquired as part of the sale.

“This transaction underscores the exceptional quality of Energy NewsData’s portfolio and customer relationships which our talented team has worked hard to create and sustain,” said Noe.

“Energy NewsData’s team possesses exceptional knowledge of the industry, combined with high journalistic standards. We are excited at the opportunity to invest in the products and staff to ensure subscribers continue to receive exceptional coverage of the industry,” said Marc Farmer, chairman of the RSI board of directors and general manager, Clatskanie (OR) People’s Utility District. “This deal significantly broadens our customer base, which has been a priority in recent years.”

“We are enthused about this new arrangement with RSI," said NewsData Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Mark Ohrenschall. "We look forward to continuing the Noes' legacy of serving our clients with our long-established brand of high-quality, independent, regional energy news and information services.”

NewsData, which has 10 employees based in the Seattle area and a four-person staff in San Francisco, will continue its presence in those cities. Ruralite is headquartered in Hillsboro, Oregon. 

About Ruralite Services
Ruralite Services Inc. has a mission to make communications easy for public power utilities. In addition to the array of marketing services, magazine publications, social media support subscription program and website offerings, the cooperative offers energy efficiency services through another wholly-owned subsidiary, Efficiency Services Group, and utility parts distribution and advanced technical services via its majority ownership of General Pacific.

About Energy NewsData
Founded in 1982, Energy NewsData provides a common frame of reference for thousands of energy professionals, keeping them well-informed on Western energy policy, markets, resources and other topics essential to their work.
Energy NewsData's team of skilled, experienced journalists have a long-earned reputation for reliable, accurate, balanced and insightful reporting, founded on their deep understanding of energy matters.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Pend Oreille PUD – Mark Cauchy Reflects on His Past 26 Years (Pend Oreille PUD, Newport, WA)

(NEWPORT, WA) – 66 years after Pend Oreille County Public Utility District received its first license to start the Box Canyon Dam project, the PUD is still powering the homes of its 9,000 customers. The original license to build the Box Canyon Project was issued in 1952 and had very limited environmental regulations.

“Licensing in 1952 was a lot simpler compared to how complex the process is now,” said Mark Cauchy, PUD Director of Regulatory and Environmental Affairs. “Originally our license included basic operations requirements like dam safety.”

The PUD started the relicensing process in 1995. At that time, the license renewal required an application that involved a variety of recreation, wildlife, environment, fisheries and erosion impact studies. The PUD submitted the completed application by 2000 to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) who notified all the agencies with conditioning authority.

“During the process, any agency with conditioning authority has the ability to file their own conditions and recommendations to the license for FERC to consider,” said Cauchy. “The first set of recommendations came back at over 500 million dollars in projects, and we were worried how that would impact our ratepayers.”

The PUD wasted no time in working collaboratively with stakeholders and customers to address the potential impacts. The PUD traveled to DC to work directly with the agency leaders and elected officials. FERC issued the PUD annual licenses from 2002 to 2005. A 50-year license was granted in 2005 and the District challenged some of the provisions. A full settlement was reached with the agencies and approved by FERC in 2010.

The final license and settlement included a significant number of additional requirements above that of the original license. The project boundary was expanded to include the Calispell Pumping Station. It also included provisions for several fish passages.

Reaching a settlement took a lot of effort and negotiation between the multiple agencies. The PUD worked diligently to find ways to achieve the conservation outcomes necessary to mitigate the impacts of the project. In the end the PUD saved its stakeholders and customers a considerable amount of money, resources and time working on projects that provided limited conservation or mitigation benefit.

Cauchy’s Regulatory Affairs team manages more than simply relicensing the dam. Other activities include managing state and federal requirements like the Clean Water Act. This required the PUD to modernize the dam’s lift gates to reduce TDG. They handle the Historical Preservation Act that requires the PUD to maintain photo documentation of the dam and work to keep the appearance as close to the original dam as possible and protect cultural resources. Additionally, the team manages nine community water systems, PUD owned timberlands, dam safety requirements, and an avian protection program.

The team takes great pride in its involvement in the Bonneville Power Administration Energy Conservation Program. The Energy Conservation Program has been around since 1992. The team has completed over a dozen successful commercial energy projects through the county, completed over 39 heat pump projects for customers and donated over 1,000 energy efficiency kits to customers.

Cauchy, who has been with the PUD since 1992, will be retiring at the end of April.
“We are always going to have rules, regulations and bumps along the way,” he said. “My job, like other managers, isn’t necessarily to change the rules, but to manage risk and seek what is best for our stakeholders and customers. When we worked for ten years and finally reached a settlement, it was all about getting the stakeholders and community behind us and working with the agencies to come up with better, more efficient way of doing things.”

Filling Cauchy’s role as Director of Regulatory Affairs will be Tyler Whitney who comes to the PUD with experience in policy and government relations. He previously worked for Spokane Mayor, David Condon as his Policy Advisor. Whitney’s father comes from a utility background, where he has been with Richland Energy Services for 20 years. Whitney, who is an attorney, will also serve as General Counsel.

Public Comment Sought on Lewis/Thurston Wind Farm Project (KELA Radio, Centralia, WA)

(CHEHALIS, WA) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment as part of the development of an Environmental Impact Statement for a proposed wind energy project in Lewis and Thurston counties.

The proposed Skookumchuck Wind Energy Project would consist of up to 38 wind turbines and associated infrastructure.

Skookumchuck Wind Energy Project, LLC intends to submit a Habitat Conservation Plan in support of an Incidental Take Permit for the federally listed marbled murrelet and protected bald and golden eagles.

There will be two public meetings for people to learn about the project and submit comments. One is Tuesday, May 8 at 6 PM at the Lacey campus of South Puget Sound Community College. A second is Thursday, May 10 at 6 PM at Centralia College.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Scientific Study - EPA Rule Reactions (Politico, Morning Energy)

(WASHINGTON, DC) – EPA is moving full-speed ahead in its controversial scientific policy that would exclude the use of studies that don't publicly disclose all data. The agency published the proposed rule in the Federal Register on Monday, kicking into gear a 30-day comment period. And already, several groups have come forward to oppose the policy, laying out what they see as the policy's adverse effects - and calling for more consideration before any formal change.

The Union of Concerned Scientists - which sent a letter signed by more than 1,000 scientists to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt last week asking him to reverse course prior to the rule's announcement - plans to send another urging for the comment period to be extended a minimum of 60 days and calling for the agency to hold three public hearings across the U.S. to receive additional input. "The current timeframe and lack of opportunities for engagement are wholly inadequate and will not allow for thorough public input of this proposed rule and its impact on science-based health and environmental safeguards." Read the letter here.

A group of scientific journals released a joint statement saying that the proposal "does not strengthen policies based on scientific evidence to limit the scientific evidence that can inform them; rather, it is paramount that the full suite of relevant science vetted through peer review, which includes ever more rigorous features, inform the landscape of decision making. Excluding relevant studies simply because they do not meet rigid transparency standards will adversely affect decision-making processes."