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Dam Task Force Proposal
Nets GOP Response

by Staff
Whitman County Gazette, December 20, 2018

Breaching them is out of the question

Army Corps of Engineers began the construction of a new juvenile bypass system at Lower Granite Dam. Washington Governor Jay Inslee put forth his $54.3 billion budget proposal Dec. 13, including $750,000 for a state task force to study possible breaching of the Lower Snake River dams -- and other options in the name of efforts to protect salmon and orcas.

Eastern Washington congressional representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R) and Dan Newhouse (R) released a statement two hours later.

The task force would consider costs and benefits of various options, including how to replace power generated from the dams in the event of taking them out. How to replace barge cargo shipments from Lewiston to the Pacific Ocean would also be considered.

Any decision to take out a federal dam would be made by congress.

"The people of Eastern Washington whose livelihoods depend on these dams should not be collateral damage for anyone's presidential ambition," McMorris Rodgers and Newhouse's statement read. "The Governor does not have the authority to breach our federal dams on the Lower Snake River, and allocating state taxpayers' funds to consider breaching them would be wasteful. Congress has the sole authority to authorize breaching our federal dams, and as representatives of Eastern Washington communities that depend on the many benefits they provide, breaching them is out of the question. We commit to do everything in our power to save our dams."

The Washington state legislature will take up Inslee's budget proposal in the 2019 session beginning Jan. 14. The state House and Senate will also submit their own budget plans.

Related Pages:
McMorris Rodgers says Bill Promoting Hydropower, Fish Migration Will See House Action Soon by Staff, Ripon Advance, 4/4/18

Dam Task Force Proposal Nets GOP Response
Whitman County Gazette, December 20, 2018

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