Newhouse, McMorris Rodgers Reject Flawed Privately-Funded Dam Study

July 29, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released a joint statement following the release of a privately-conducted study regarding the removal of the Lower Snake River Dams:

“This privately-funded study is a slap in the face of our state’s agricultural economy. It is another example of Seattle-based interests seeking to disrupt our way of life in Central and Eastern Washington. Increases in carbon emissions, higher electricity bills, and billions of dollars in infrastructure improvements that would be needed for irrigation and transportation hardly come across as a ‘public benefit.’ This report, like many others before it, fails to consider the consequences of dam breaching for communities and industries throughout the Northwest,” said Reps. Newhouse and McMorris Rodgers.

They continued, “We trust the federal scientists and experts who are currently conducting a legal and comprehensive environmental impact study of the Snake River Dams. They should be able to do their jobs without groups from downtown Seattle dictating a cursory conclusion.”


This study, Lower Snake River Dams: Economic Tradeoffs of Removal, was conducted by ECONorthwest and commissioned by Vulcan Inc., two Seattle-based private companies. A briefing session to provide further explanation of the study will be hosted by Vulcan in Seattle on July 30, 2019 from 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM. There is currently no briefing scheduled in Central or Eastern Washington.

On December 13, 2018, Governor Jay Inslee proposed a $750,000 line item in the state budget to support evaluation of the Lower Snake River dams by a state task force. Reps. Newhouse and McMorris Rodgers released a statement opposed to the study.

On May 20, 2019, Reps. Newhouse and McMorris Rodgers publicly urged Governor Inslee to veto the line item in a joint statement, citing widespread support for the dams.