Salmon Over Damsby Cigdem Capan
Tri-City Herald, May 2, 2018
The lower Snake River dams have been in the news a lot again, thanks to Reps. Newhouse and McMorris Rodgers' fervent efforts to pass H.R. 3144, a bill that will subject any study, action or structural modification that affects hydropower capability to Congressional authorization, in a clear federal overreach.
In their opposition to increased spill, they cite potential increases to electricity rates, but fail to acknowledge that we have wasted over $15 billion in taxpayer and ratepayer money since 1978 on salmon recovery efforts without recovering a single wild salmon population, as well as hundreds of millions of tax dollars to maintain these dams. The increased spill order is a fair short-term compromise that allows us to keep the dams and to give salmon a chance at survival.
A recent poll shows that nearly four in five Washington voters say preventing the extinction of wild salmon in the state is very important and a majority of voters would choose preserving our salmon over our dams.
This bill would be the final nail in the coffin for our salmon. Our elected officials should be listening to their constituents and protecting our salmon, which are vital to our Pacific Northwest way of life.
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