Northwest Reps Introduce Legislation To Back Dam Operation

A group of Pacific Northwest Representatives including Oregon Second District Congressman Greg Walden and Washington Third District Congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler have introduced bipartisan legislation to approve the Federal Columbia River Power System Biological Opinion until 2022.  The quintet of four Republicans and Oregon Democrat Kurt Schrader say they are against removal of Snake River dams, saying they benefit the region through clean, renewable, and affordable energy they provide while allowing salmon runs to recover.  A court ruling earlier this year orders steps to be taken to improve salmon returns, impacting the operations at the lower four Snake River dams by requiring the dams to spill more water, decreasing the electrical output of the dams and estimating an increase in cost of two to three percent.  The legislators say the biological opinion was the product of unprecedented collaboration between President Barack Obama’s administration, states, and sovereign Northwest tribes, and needs to be reaffirmed.

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