the film
Commentaries and editorials

Brown's Support of Simpson Plan
is Misplaced

by Quinn Read
East Oregonian, August 21, 2021

Congressman Mike Simpson has been talking to people throughout the northwest and in Washington, D.C. about the salmon crisis, and he says he's determined to do what he can to solve it. It's encouraging to read Gov. Brown's continued support for removing the lower Snake River dams. These dams have caused profound harm to salmon populations in the Columbia River Basin and the Southern Resident orcas that depend on them to survive.

But it's as if Brown forgets that for decades, lawmakers in her state and Washington all but ignored the plight of the Columbia River Basin. Those years of inaction created a void into which Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson, R, tossed a $33 billion "solution" for the region.

Yes, this plan would bring the dams down -- a long-overdue step needed to save salmon now on the knife edge of extinction. But Simpson's proposal also includes 25-year exemptions to the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act, provisions no public official should consider.

So much of the fate of the Columbia River Basin would not be in the hands of the courts if state lawmakers and federal agencies had taken proper action sooner. Brown's amnesia is politically convenient, and casting Simpson's deeply flawed proposal as the sole solution is a disingenuous failure of leadership. There are more effective paths forward than Simpson's proposal, and we welcome Brown's leadership in crafting a regional solution to get the dams out as soon as possible while upholding our core environmental laws.

Related Pages:
Working Together, Bold Action Can Secure a Thriving Future for the Columbia Basin by Kate Brown, East Oregonian, 8/14/21

Quinn Read Center for Biological Diversity, Portland
Brown's Support of Simpson Plan is Misplaced
East Oregonian, August 21, 2021

See what you can learn

learn more on topics covered in the film
see the video
read the script
learn the songs
discussion forum
salmon animation