Perspectives: If It Is To Be, It Is Up To Me

I first heard the phrase “If it is to be, it is up to me” when I was 15 years old. Since then, those 10 two-letter words have been my guide in most situations in my life. I interpret the phrase in this way: if you are unhappy or disagree with a situation, don’t sit around and complain. Instead, do something about it!

This edition of Hydro Review magazine arrives to subscribers after the National Hydropower Association annual conference in Washington, D.C. With the work of NHA and hydro’s presence in Washington, D.C. at the forefront of the industry’s focus, it seems an appropriate time to delve into the application of the phrase: “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

In my opinion, NHA – its members, officers, staff and executive director – offers a perfect example of how to apply the phrase.

Inside the proverbial beltway, on a day-to-day basis, NHA represents hydro in front of Congress, the White House, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and federal resource agencies such as U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Forest Service. NHA also collaborates and negotiates with other lobbying groups in D.C., including non-governmental organizations and other renewable energy associations.

This year, 2012, NHA’s executive director Linda Church Ciocci celebrates 20 years as the association’s leader. Linda has been steadfast in her belief of the concept “If it is to be, it is up to me.” Over the past 20 years, with Linda at the helm, NHA has worked hard on behalf of the hydro industry. And, important gains have been achieved … significantly increased funding for hydro-related research and development, a much stronger recognition on Capitol Hill of hydro’s value, greatly enhanced outreach and services to NHA members, and the forging of strong working relationships with other renewable energy associations … to name a few.

NHA has done this work without big budgets or elaborate staffing. Instead, it’s a small group of people who are dedicated and work very hard … people who believe “If it is to be, it is up to me.”

While NHA staff represents hydro every day in D.C., once a year, more than 500 hydro professionals descend on the U.S. capitol city for the NHA annual conference. Many of those in attendance take time to visit Capitol Hill to talk to their Congressional representatives (and their staffs) about hydropower’s value. These individuals get the concept that “If it is to be, it is up to me.” Rather than only complaining about challenges – such as over-regulation, unfair lack of tax incentives and unreasonable environmental study requirements – they are speaking up!

Hydropower is a great resource – one that generates inexpensive renewable electricity, creates jobs, provides fantastic recreation opportunities and enhances the environment. That’s a story worth telling to Congress, in classrooms, and at the local coffee shop. But it takes all of us to tell that story … not just the NHA organization, Linda Church Ciocci, and the individuals who made those Capitol Hill visits during the annual conference.

I’d like to ask you to adopt the simple phrase, “If it is to be, it is up to me,” as an approach to live by when it comes to hydro. Just think what the hydro industry could accomplish if all hydro professionals embraced those 10 two-letter words!

Marla J. Barnes
Publisher and Chief Editor

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