Washington, D.C. –– Today, Reps. Matt Rosendale, Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Cliff Bentz (R-OR), and Russ Fulcher (R-ID) released a joint statement slamming the Biden Administration’s report which calls for the breaching of all dams on the Columbia River System and was developed during closed-door conversations with the plaintiffs in the ongoing lawsuit over the Columbia River Systems Operations environmental impact statement.
“Today’s release of two reports from the Biden Administration’s Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) confirms what we have suspected for some time—they are cherry picking points to justify breaching the Lower Snake River Dams, which will permanently and negatively impact our way of life in the Pacific Northwest.
“It appears that the Biden Administration’s CEQ has been working behind closed doors with plaintiffs in the ongoing lawsuit over the CRSO EIS, as explicitly stated in the first footnote of this draft ‘report,’ all while promoting a supposedly open and transparent stakeholder listening process meant to develop a regional solution for salmon and the river system. This is underhanded and completely unacceptable.
“The Biden Administration just last month issued a Declaration of Emergency stating that a current emergency exists ‘with respect to the threats of the availability of sufficient electricity generation capacity to meet expected customer demand.’ Today, with the release of these draft reports, one thing is clear: the Biden Administration is talking a big game on carbon goals while simultaneously engaging in actions to undermine valuable clean, affordable, and renewable power resources on the Columbia River System, thus compromising energy stability across the region.
“As the members of Congress representing the range of stakeholders engaged in recovering endangered salmon and preserving the Columbia River power system, we must point out the reality that the draft report by NOAA, FWS, Nez Perce Tribe, and State of Oregon fails to acknowledge that salmon returns on the Lower Snake River have shown encouraging gains since 2019. In fact, this year, Spring Chinook returns are more than double last year and 31% above the 10-year average. We urge this administration to consider the facts, prioritize transparency, and utilize sound science and input from all tribes, industry groups, and the ratepayers themselves before coming to an outcome in any final report that would be catastrophic to the communities we represent.”