McMorris Rodgers, Newhouse, and Herrera Beutler Respond to Seattle Democrats’ Opposition to Columbia and Snake River Dams

February 22, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05), Dan Newhouse (WA-04), and Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) released this statement following a letter from Senator Murray and others opposing bipartisan legislation (H.R. 3144) to protect the Columbia and Snake River dams and help aid in fish recovery efforts.

“It’s unthinkable that Seattle Democrats are putting politics over science when it comes to improving fish recovery efforts. What’s more, they are making Washington state ratepayers pick up the tab—with an estimated price tag of $40 million in higher electricity rates from increasing spill this year alone. Further, their letter states that every alternative must be looked at, which includes the breaching of the Snake River dams. Millions of dollars have been spent studying these dams and improvements have been made to improve fish survival rates, with recent return rates being 97% and above. They claim to support clean renewable energy, while simultaneously working to destroy hydropower, Washington state’s largest source of carbon-neutral, clean energy. Breaching the dams, which provide critical benefits for communities in our state, should not even be an option.

“The Biological Opinion is the result of years of collaborative work between President Barack Obama’s administration, Washington and other Pacific Northwest states, sovereign Northwest tribes, and other local stakeholders with direct knowledge and expertise in mitigation and recovery efforts. Rejecting the BiOp only hurts the people of Washington state and sets us back decades in our fight to protect fish and support clean energy.”

NOTE: Read more about Reps. McMorris Rodgers, Newhouse, and Herrera Beutler’s legislation