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Hastings says Redden Shows his
Bias in Outdoor Idaho Interview

by Rocky Barker
Idaho Statesman, April 26, 2012

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings a Washington Republican, had a strong reaction to U.S. District Judge James Redden's views on removing the four Snake River dams in his district.

Here is his statement:

(Kevin Wolf/Associated Press) House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wash., left, shares a laugh with Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., right, before the start of a committee hearing Jan. 26 in Washington, D.C. "This interview candidly reveals the activist bias of Judge Redden that I and many in the Pacific Northwest have suspected for years. Due to his personal views, this one judge unilaterally dragged and drove costly litigation on for nearly a decade.

"He issued unprecedented, questionable and expensive rulings resulting in his literally seizing control of the river system's operation. He ignored clear and sound science that salmon species are returning in numbers greater than before these dams were built, and forced taxpayers to pay for millions of dollars in higher energy bills and lawyers' fees. He ordered the waste of tens of millions of dollars by forcing the spilling of water past dams that science reveals has benefited few, if any, fish, and may have actually harmed them. He's ignored federal science that shows more fish benefit from safe barge transportation, and he's clouded any semblance of the best science and the law regarding federal salmon protection measures supported by three states, many tribes and other stakeholders.

"This one politician-turned-judge kept pursuing his agenda and imposing his own views over the policies of the elected Presidential Administrations of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

"Judge Redden has admitted his bias in favor of the agenda of radical environmental groups whose sole goal is the extreme act of tearing down hydropower dams that provide the vast majority of the power generated for Northwest families and businesses -- about 80 percent for Idaho, 70 percent of Washington and nearly 60 percent for Oregon. This is clean, carbon-free and renewable energy that has supported the Northwest's vibrant agriculture, technological and trade economies for decades.

"Judge Redden's bias is being used to further this radical agenda just months after he announced his retirement from the case and as a new, hopefully impartial, judge has been appointed to oversee the endless and unclear future of litigation he perpetuated.

"It's time for the endless litigation and radical agendas -- bolstered by one man's personal views and grip on a judge's gavel -- to stop and to ensure that the Northwest will be given certainty that a plan supported by states, tribes and others will be approved to ensure that dams keep producing clean, renewable hydropower and allow for abundant salmon for generations to come."

No group that I have covered in the last 20 years has suggested removing all the dams as Hastings suggests. And Hastings portrayal of spilling water over the dams to aid salmon migration flies in the face of the science that my Sunday story reported. In fact, I haven't heard anyone dispute the evidence of delayed mortality in salmon populations caused by their trip through the eight dams for several years now.

But at least you know where Hastings stands.

Rocky Barker
Hastings says Redden Shows his Bias in Outdoor Idaho Interview
Idaho Statesman, April 26, 2012

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