Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) helped introduce the Defending Against Manipulative Negotiators (DAMN) Act to stop the Biden administration from moving forward with the “package of actions and commitments” the United States Government negotiated with plaintiffs, states, and tribes in ongoing litigation over Columbia River System Operations (CRSO). Specifically, the bill would prohibit the use of federal funds from being used to breach or alter the operations of the Lower Snake River dams and prohibit the implementation of the Columbia Basin Restoration Initiative.
“The deal President Biden brokered with radical environmentalists behind closed doors will forever change the way our river system operates. It will devastate communities in Eastern Washington and across the Pacific Northwest, and it makes commitments on behalf of Congress without engaging with us,” said Rodgers. “The administration understands only Congress has the authority to breach our dams. This legislation is how we use that power to make sure that never happens while protecting our region’s way of life from the consequences of this deeply misguided plan.”
Cathy joined Representatives Dan Newhouse (WA-04), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05), Russ Fulcher (ID-05), and Cliff Bentz (OR-02) in introducing the DAMN Act.
This legislation was introduced just days before Cathy, as Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, will lead a hearing to expose this misguided plan to dismantle the Lower Snake River dams and the negative impacts it will have on the United States. You can learn more about the upcoming hearing by clicking here.
The DAMN Act is supported by 10 stakeholders who represent large constituencies that would be directly affected by the removal and operational breaching of the Lower Snake River dams, including the Tri-City Development Council (TRIDEC), Public Power Council, Inland Power, Pacific Northwest Waterways Association, Northwest River Partners, National Association of Wheat Growers, Washington Association of Wheat Growers, Washington State Potato Commission, Washington State Dairy Federation, and the Columbia Basin Development League.
“The four lower Snake River dams are critically important to the economy of the Tri-Cities and the entire Pacific Northwest region. Their importance was underscored earlier this month when the Bonneville Power Administration reported record high electricity demand, which could not have been met without the power produced by these dams. Congressman Newhouse has always been a champion of the Snake River dams, and we sincerely thank him for his continued support.” – Karl Dye, President & CEO of TRIDEC
“Agricultural stakeholders appreciate the efforts of Congressman Dan Newhouse to protect one of our nation’s most important barge corridors. The bill introduced today will guard against public funds being used to advocate for breaching dams in the Columbia-Snake River system, which transports nearly 30 percent of U.S. grain and oilseed exports. The stakes are concernedly high, as the economic harm of breaching the dams would ripple throughout the U.S. agricultural value chain by effectively shutting down a critical export corridor for grains and oilseeds. Removal of the LSR locks could bankrupt thousands of producers as they attempt to change their freight distribution network from efficient river barges to far more costly – and environmentally damaging – long-haul truck or rail service. Rep. Newhouse’s bill is needed to prevent the damaging consequences of dam breaching for agriculture in the Pacific Northwest that could ultimately impact global food security.” – National Grain and Feed Association
“The Washington Association of Wheat Growers (WAWG) applauds the introduction of the Defending Against Manipulative Negotiators Act by Rep. Dan Newhouse. The Lower Snake River Dams are vital to the livelihood of Washington’s wheat farmers. Any alteration or breaching of these dams would negatively impact our ability to transport wheat, thus causing adverse impacts to local businesses, including family-owned farms, and the broader regional economy.” – Washington Association of Wheat Growers
“With potential operational changes in the Columbia River beginning in September with reduced electrical power production, uncertain navigation, irrigation and salmon recovery capacity the region needs to stabilize the conversation around dam removal on the Snake River. This bill is a critical step forward looking at the needs of the region.” – Washington State Potato Commission
“Breaching the Lower Snake River Dams will put tens of thousands of trucks on the highways and also crowd railway traffic. This will negatively impact feed and product transportation and dramatically reverse progress in reducing the carbon footprint of our state and nation.” – Dan Wood, Executive Director of Washington State Dairy Federation
CLICK HERE to read the bill.