McMorris Rodgers, Newhouse Call on Governor Inslee to Veto Federal Dam Breaching Study

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 20, 2019) – Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) and Dan Newhouse (WA-04) released the following joint statement urging Washington Governor Jay Inslee to veto the $750,000 line item in the capital budget that would commission a state-funded study on breaching the federally-owned and operated Snake River dams:

“This study is a waste of state taxpayer dollars. We stand with the people of Central and Eastern Washington who rely on the Snake River dams in calling for Governor Inslee to veto the $750,000 line item in the capital budget. Instead of studying the removal of our federal dams, these state dollars could have been used to fund salmon recovery programs that directly aid endangered salmon species,” said McMorris Rodgers and Newhouse. “Our dams provide essential benefits to our way of life in the Pacific Northwest – from powering nearly 2 million homes with clean and affordable energy to providing market access for our region’s farmers and producers. As the federal government continues to conduct a comprehensive environmental analysis of the river power system, we will continue to defend the dams from these misguided, state-led breaching efforts. We call on Governor Inslee to veto this wasteful exercise.”

NOTE: On May 10, 2019, thirty-three organizations sent a letter to Governor Inslee urging him to remove the $750,000 in funding in Section 118 of ESHS 1109 (the biennial operating budget) for a study of breaching the lower Snake River dams. Additionally, the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council and the International Union of Operating Engineers each wrote letters imploring Inslee to veto the study.

In December 2018, Reps. Newhouse and McMorris Rodgers issued a joint statement opposing Governor Inslee’s proposed study.

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