Protecting the Lower Snake River Dams

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: protecting the Lower Snake River dams is one of my top priorities. They are the beating heart of Eastern Washington and provide critical baseload energy to ensure the lights stay on during severe weather events in Washington State, as well as a path to market for PNW agriculture exports. 

But that hasn’t stopped the Biden administration and radical environmental groups from pursuing misguided efforts to rip them out in the name of salmon recovery. That’s why I took action this week to bring these plans to a halt.

First, I led the Pacific Northwest delegation in demanding answers from President Biden and the agencies involved in the administration’s initiative to look at dam breaching as a solution for recovering salmon. I’m concerned that emotions continue to overshadow facts when it comes to conversations about Columbia Basin salmon recovery. 

Here are the facts: the Columbia Basin is home to 61 different fish species, and 13 species of Columbia River Basin salmon and steelhead are impacted by the river power system and listed for protection under the ESA. Of these 13 species, only four travel through the Lower Snake River Dams. Conversations about salmon recovery should not be focused on the Lower Snake River Dams. Period.

I also had a chance this week to make my voice heard in the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and share my priorities for the Water Resources Development Act of 2022. I made it clear that no funds in this bill should be used to pursue any policy related to breaching the Lower Snake River Dams. 

I share the goal of recovering endangered salmon in the Pacific Northwest, but tearing out the Lower Snake River dams is a non-starter for me. I will not bend to the will of those whose goal it is to tear out our dams, results be damned, and I will do everything I can to stop it.

CLICK HERE to read my letters to President Biden and other agencies.
CLICK HERE to read my request to Congress to save our dams.

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