Dec 20, 2019 / Energy/Environment

McMorris Rodgers, Newhouse Blast Wasteful State Report on Lower Snake River Dams

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) and Congressman Dan Newhouse (WA-04) released the following joint statement after Washington Governor Jay Inslee released a public draft of the Lower Snake River Dams Stakeholder Engagement Report, the product of a $750,000 state-funded study on breaching the federally-owned and operated Snake River dams in Central and Eastern Washington:
 
“What this report tells us is Governor Inslee spent three-quarters of a million dollars and a year’s time to conclude ‘there are differing perspectives’ and ‘more information needed’ on this issue,” said Reps. Newhouse and McMorris Rodgers. “We had no idea a year ago when we said this study would be a wasteful use of taxpayer dollars just how accurate we’d be – imagine how far $750,000 could have gone to directly support salmon recovery efforts. Every taxpayer in our state should be outraged.”
 
Reps. Newhouse and McMorris Rodgers continued, “We will continue to work in Congress with local stakeholders and federal partners—who are already conducting a comprehensive environmental analysis based on science, not opinions—to improve salmon recovery and fish passage within the federally-owned and operated dam system while maintaining and optimizing the clean, renewable hydroelectric power our communities and economies rely on. In the meantime, since the Governor’s so-called ‘public workshops’ next month will not allow for public testimony, we encourage all community members to submit their comments and concerns on the report to ensure our voices are heard.”
 
The Lower Snake River Dam Stakeholder Engagement Report is open for public comment until January 24, 2020. Find information about how to submit your public comment online, by e-mail, or by mail here.
 
There will be three public workshops to discuss the findings of the study, which will include a presentation of the report followed by a panel discussion representing different interests. Per the Governor’s Office, there will not be time for public testimony during the workshops. Audience members may submit written questions to be asked of the panel if time is available, and written comments will be accepted.
 
Public workshop dates and locations listed below:
 
January 7, 2020 – Clarkston
Quality Inn & Suites and Quay Convention Center
700 Port Drive, Clarkston
6:00 – 9:00 PM PST
 
January 9, 2020 – Vancouver
Washington State University Vancouver – Dengerink Administration Building
14204 NE Salmon Avenue, Vancouver
6:00 – 9:00 PM PST
 
January 13, 2020 – Tri-Cities
Pasco Red Lion Hotel & Conference Center
2525 North 20th Avenue, Pasco
6:00 – 9:00 PM PST
 
Background: 
 
On December 13, 2018, Governor Jay Inslee proposed a $750,000 line item in the state budget to support evaluation of the Lower Snake River dams by a state task force. Reps. Newhouse and McMorris Rodgers released a statement opposed to the study.
 
On May 20, 2019, Reps. Newhouse and McMorris Rodgers publicly urged Governor Inslee to veto the line item in a joint statement, citing widespread support for the dams.
 
On July 29, 2019, Reps. Newhouse and McMorris Rodgers issued a joint statement to reject a flawed, privately-funded study on the Lower Snake River Dams, conducted by ECONorthwest.
 
# # #