Apr 11, 2018 / Energy/Environment

McMorris Rodgers, Newhouse Bill to Protect Columbia and Snake River Dams Passes Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 11, 2018) – Today, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) and Congressman Dan Newhouse (WA-04) applauded the House Natural Resources Committee passage of their legislation (H.R. 3144) to protect the Columbia and Snake River dams and ensure dams and fish can coexist.

“Hydropower helped build the Northwest, and still today it offers us clean, renewable, reliable, and affordable energy to help power our homes, businesses, and communities,” said McMorris Rodgers. “I’m proud to see this bipartisan legislation pass the House Natural Resources Committee today and look forward to it coming before the full House in the coming weeks. My goal is to ensure that dams and fish can co-exist, and this Biological Opinion provides a collaborative approach so we can continue to improve technology and fish recovery efforts, while supporting the clean energy produced on our dams. I’m proud to lead this effort along with the support of organizations and people all across Eastern Washington.”

“Without Snake and Columbia river dams and the many benefits they provide, life in Central Washington as we know it would be unrecognizable,” said Newhouse. “I represent communities that actually live with the consequences of forced increased spill or potentially breaching dams, whether through higher electricity rates, higher transportation costs, reduced access to irrigation water, reduced flood control, and more. I appreciate the support from colleagues on both sides of the aisle for this bipartisan legislation to preserve the benefits of dams that communities in Central Washington depend on. We need to safeguard our dams while continuing to invest in fish recovery efforts because the cost of the alternative is too high for rural communities. I am grateful to Chairman Bishop for his support in committee as this legislation moves forward.”

“This is a bipartisan bill with broad local support from citizens in the Pacific Northwest. It removes unnecessary federal barriers to water and power resources while protecting the environment, and I thank Rep. McMorris Rodgers and her colleagues from the region for their ongoing work to move this bill forward,” House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) said.

NOTE: With a commitment from the Speaker of the House, this legislation will now go to the floor of the House of Representatives for a full vote in the coming weeks.

In March, McMorris Rodgers, Newhouse and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) penned a column in the Tri-City Herald advocating for the importance of protecting our dams and working collaboratively to recover endangered salmon. In case you missed it, you can read the column here.

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