McMorris Rodgers, Newhouse, Herrera Beutler Respond to Closed Door Efforts to Breach Lower Snake River Dams

Washington, D.C. (October 22, 2021) – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), Congressman Dan Newhouse (WA-04), and Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) today issued the following statement after Governor Jay Inslee and Senator Patty Murray announced they would begin a joint federal-state process to examine replacing the benefits of the Lower Snake River Dams. This announcement comes on the heels of the Department of Justice announcing a settlement in the motion for injunctive relief filed by the plaintiffs in the lawsuit over the Columbia River System Operations Environmental Impact Statement (CRSO EIS), as well as a stay in the litigation until July of 2022.

“It is becoming more and more clear that the public and stakeholders who rely on the Columbia Snake River System have been shut out of conversations between the Biden administration, federal agencies, and groups whose sole mission is to breach the Lower Snake River dams. The fact that the DOJ announced a settlement to stay the Columbia River System Operation Environmental Impact Statement (CRSO EIS) litigation until July 2022 – the same time Governor Inslee and Senator Murray plan to release their plans to breach the Lower Snake River dams – is suspicious at best. This appears to be nothing more than a predetermined backdoor deal in the making, and it should sound the alarm for anyone interested in transparency and a balanced public dialogue over the vital role the dams play in the Pacific Northwest. There is something fishy going on, and it’s not just the promising salmon returns we are seeing on the Lower Snake River.”

TIMELINE OF EVENTS:

  • May 2021 – Governor Inslee and Senator Murray publicly rebuke plans to breach Lower Snake River Dams.
  • October 15, 2021 – Gov. Inslee and Sen. Murray announce plans to assess the breaching of the Lower Snake River dams. You can read Cathy’s response here.
  • October 21, 2021 – Department of Justice announces a settlement reached between the CRSO EIS plaintiffs and federal agencies on injunctive relief, including a stay on the CRSO EIS litigation until July 2022.
  • October 22, 2021 – Gov. Inslee and Sen. Murray announce next steps to deliver a report on replacing the benefits of the Lower Snake River by July 2022.

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