BPA is Asked to Operate its Dams to Save Fishby Staff & News Service
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - March 14, 2002
Environmental groups appealed yesterday to the Bonneville Power Administration to avoid a repeat of the drought-prompted dam operation methods that killed salmon last year along the Snake and Columbia rivers -- even if it means raising electric rates.
Last year, the way the dams were operated to save water -- and therefore electricity and money -- led to the deaths of more than a million young salmon migrating to sea.
The environmental groups asked BPA Administrator Stephen Wright to avoid a repeat of the fish killing by calling on a $250 million credit line with the U.S. Treasury or by invoking clauses in electricity contracts allowing rate increases.
"We think they should be acting rather than waiting until they're facing a financial cliff," said Mark Glyde, spokesman for the NW Energy Coalition. Glyde said he was unsure how much the rate increases would need to be, because the BPA has not yet said how big a deficit it will face. But the increases would likely be small, he said, because they would be spread among so many ratepayers.
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