Craig Down, Fish Up?by Editorial Board
Idaho Mountain Express, October 3, 2007
Groups that have relentlessly but futilely fought U.S. Sen. Larry Craig's stubborn protection of dams over the survival of salmon have been cautiously buoyed by the possibility that Craig might soon be gone from the U.S. Senate.
However, they are already celebrating Craig's removal from key committees by colleagues, which has reduced his influence and power over legislation that affects salmon and dams. They are delighted with moves by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, both Democrats, to advance the cause of salmon during Craig's fall from Senate grace.
Reid has asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure passage upriver for migrating salmon before relicensing three Hells Canyon dams, and Cantwell has asked the Senate Interior Committee to delete Sen. Craig's attempt in an appropriation bill to overturn a federal court's protective order for salmon.
Just how zealously and jealously Sen. Craig regards dams versus salmon to be virtually his domain and his alone was revealed in a statement from Craig's office accusing Reid and Cantwell of meddling in Idaho affairs.
Salmon survival is everyone's business, not only the egocentric Sen. Craig's and his hydroelectric industry patrons'.
Indeed, Craig is callous in his disregard for the plight of salmon, whose continuing existence is a major element in Idaho's outdoor recreation industry and a reassurance that business-over-nature interests haven't killed another species—yet.
Sen. Craig's fishy behavior in the Minneapolis airport restroom may yet have a happy ending if the senator's downfall gives a boost up to the mighty salmon.
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