RECAP: McMorris Rodgers Showcases Eastern Washington’s Clean Energy Innovation

Mar 17, 2023
Clean Energy

Spokane, Wash. – Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) yesterday welcomed Benji Backer, President of the American Conservation Coalition, to highlight how Eastern Washington is leading the way to secure a cleaner American energy future. Together, the two traveled across the district and made stops at the Spokane Waste to Energy Plant, the Long Lake Dam, and Wellpinit to meet with the Spokane Tribe. Details and photos from these public events are below.

Converting Waste To Energy

Cathy started her day touring the Spokane Waste to Energy Plant. This self-sustaining plant takes up to 800 tons of solid waste per day and converts it into enough 26 megawatt hours of energy, which is enough to power 13,000 homes. On top of the renewable energy the facility produces, it is one of the many innovative ways we can prevent massive landfills from piling up and polluting our air and groundwater. First opened in 1991, the plant is a prime example of how Spokane is leading the way on next generation climate solutions.

Touring the Long Lake Dam

Cathy then traveled to Tumtum to tour the Long Lake Dam, which was built in 1915. For the last 105 years, this dam has operated with the potential to generate 80 megawatts of clean, reliable, and renewable energy each day. This dam has played a critical role in supporting Avista’s power delivery to homes and businesses in Eastern Washington communities, and it’s currently undergoing modernization to ensure that work continues for decades to come.

Meeting with the Spokane Tribe

Cathy wrapped up her day by making the trip to Wellpinit to meet with representatives of the Spokane Tribe. They discussed the importance of proactive forest management and the tribe shared the success they’ve had implementing it to mitigate the impact of wildfires and protect their reservation. The group also talked about how salmon and dams can co-exist in the region. While survival studies on endangered salmon are ongoing, the community is encouraged by the progress and is eager to work together in order to adapt to the hydropower system that helps keep the lights on across Eastern Washington.


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