I want to thank U.S. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Dan Newhouse and Kurt Schrader and others for introducing bipartisan HR 3144 to keep the Obama-era 2014 Biological Opinion in place for the Federal Columbia River Power System until 2022. This is an important piece of legislation that builds on improvements at federal dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers, rehabilitation of habitat, and other actions that are benefiting federally protected salmon and steelhead.
To that, I have to express my disappointment with a letter submitted to leaders in the House and Senate opposing HR 3144 signed by Washington Sen. Murray and Reps. Smith and Jayapal.
HR 3144 legislation doesn’t circumvent the NEPA process. It lets the process play out as intended and limits activist U.S. District Court Judge Simon from issuing rulings that amount to a grand experiment with our hydro system and disrupts an agreement with a track record of working according to NOAA Fisheries – the federal expert on salmon.
At a time when the current administration is proposing privatization of the Bonneville Power Administration, now is the time our Northwest delegation must come together as they historically have on these issues and support our clean, cheap electricity generated by the Columbia and Snake River System.
Colin Hastings, Pasco Chamber of Commerce