the film
Commentaries and editorials

Rep. Newhouse, Dams in Your District
are Doing Damage to Mine

by Rep. Mike Simpson
Lewiston Tribune, May 29, 2021

"We must consider comprehensive solutions to this extremely complex challenge," Newhouse said.

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. Congressman Newhouse, let me just say that if the Boise Airport were spilling 1,000 gallons of jet fuel a day into the Snake River and poisoning your farmers' crops, we would be grateful for someone to propose a solution that would allow my constituents to continue to have access to air travel and your constituents continued access to clean water.

If operations at the Boise Airport had been tied up in litigation for 30 years and court rulings continued to inch closer and closer toward one that would wreak havoc on the entire economy of the Pacific Northwest and someone came up with a concept to help avoid that fate, guess what? I'd be willing to listen to that person, even if I didn't like some of the aspects of that concept.

"We must consider comprehensive solutions to this extremely complex challenge," Newhouse said.

I think what he meant to say was: "We must consider only solutions that I agree with and are politically easy for me to support" to solve this challenge.

I understand that Newhouse may feel that attacking me is politically popular in his district right now. But that statement, along with his advocacy for relying on "science, facts and data -- not hyperbole, emotions or ideologically-driven arguments" at this point is laughable.

May I remind Newhouse that he is the one comparing an airport to four dams. He is the one that is so emotionally charged over this issue that he invited himself to the Andrus Center conference in order to make these illogical comparisons. And he is the one using the work of far-left environmental groups to make personal -- not policy -- accusations about me and my work.

Congressman Newhouse, let me clear something up: The dams in your district are doing damage in mine. They are decimating the salmon populations in my district, whether you accept that fact or not. My concept is a comprehensive solution to this extremely complex challenge, whether you want to accept that fact or not. My concept would bypass two dams in your district, yes -- but it would also provide so many more benefits to make the stakeholders whole, along with significant economic opportunities for the futures of the Tri-Cities and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

It may be your choice to bury your head in the sand, and advocate for vague, "comprehensive solutions." That is not mine. I have proposed something as a starting point, and you have been unwilling to even discuss it. If that doesn't reveal your true intentions and commitment to the status quo, I don't know what does.

Related Pages:
Stay Out of My Backyard, Rep. Simpson, and I'll Stay Out of Yours by Rep. Dan Newhouse, Lewiston Tribune, 5/27/21
Dams Greater than 5MW Capacity in Columbia River Basin from Wikipedia (accessed May 2921)

Related Sites:
Simpson's announcement may be viewed here
Other documents associated his concept are available at

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, represents Idaho's 2nd Congressional District.
Rep. Newhouse, Dams in Your District are Doing Damage to Mine
Lewiston Tribune, May 29, 2021

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