Pasco Chamber of Commerce:
by Colin Hastings
Over the past years, the Progress Edition article from the Pasco Chamber of Commerce has always featured an element of the importance of the Lower Snake River Dams to our region and the Northwest. Once again, this year is no different.
Since our last Progress Report submission, Gov. Jay Inslee’s Orca task force concluded its $750,000 study of removal of the dams in response to the dire state of the southern resident orca population and the pod’s loss of a calf. This turned out to be a waste of our taxpayer dollars, since the study concluded that “residents remain deeply divided” on this topic.
In addition, the Army Corp of Engineers just concluded its multi-million dollar and multi-year draft environmental impact study on our hydropower system and found that keeping the Lower Snake River Dams is the preferential option. The findings from Inslee’s study has no bearing on the fate of the dams – the fate of the dams is in the U.S. House of Representatives’ hands. We have taken the position that resources are better served to focus on speedy environmental rehab of Puget Sound and the salmon-bearing rivers to have the greatest positive impact on the Southern Resident Orca.
To be proactive on this topic, we launched “RiverFest, Our Rivers Our Way of Life” community event in September 2018. Over the years, we partnered with over 150 organizations from around the Northwest to tell their stories of how the river system is important to them. With a lot of support and help from the community, we had over 7,000 people attend this family-friendly event that featured hands-on activities for children and educational facts for the community highlighting the importance of our river system. RiverFest even inspired Congress to host a congressional field hearing for the House Natural Resources Committee to discuss the Lower Snake River Dams.
We will continue this tradition again on Oct. 10 at Columbia Park, and we hope that it’s even bigger this year so we can demonstrate how important these carbon-free energy treasures are to our livelihood and the Northwest.
This year we are proud to have the leadership of Joe Roach of Akins Engineering, as the 2019-20 Board President. Joe is a strong leader with great vision for the good of the chamber and our community.
The Pasco Chamber of commerce remains a friendly and personable group of businesses and professionals that have not lost sight of person-to-person contact and the comfort that comes with attending monthly luncheons where everyone gets to know your name.
Over 100 years ago, the Pasco Chamber was created to promote and advocate for economic development and free enterprise. Pasco Chamber membership provides small-business-affordable entry to our region’s growing economy and business community. Network and increase your company’s visibility to demonstrate your commitment to the residents and businesses of Pasco.
Not only is the Pasco Chamber the champion of agri-business, we provide a conduit to the growth potential for your business because Pasco’s population is expected to grow by 50,000 people in the next 20 years. The application takes two minutes to fill out and is available at pascochamber.org/online-application.html.
Pasco Chamber of Commerce: Standing Up for Our Way of Life by Colin Hastings, Tri-City Herald, 4/18/19
When it Comes to Dams, Lawmakers Need To Be United by Colin Hastings, Tri-City Herald, 3/2/18
The Hypocricy of Efforts to Remove Lower Snake River Dams by Colin Hastings, Tri-City Herald, 10/24/15
Stories on Salmon Too Often Skewed by John L. Cox, Tri-City Herald, 9/13/18
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