House Appropriations Committee this week approved a 2018 Energy and Water bill
that includes language prohibiting the removal of federal dams unless
previously authorized by Congress.
legislation passed by the committee included funding for previously authorized
phases of the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project, Small Modular
Reactor development and deployment, and hydropower and nuclear energy, as well
as language prohibiting the removal of federal dams and protecting Americans’
2nd Amendment rights on Army Corps of Engineers land.
Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) released the following statement after the House
Appropriations Committee’s full committee markup on the fiscal year 2018 Energy
and Water Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.
legislation appropriates funds to support Central Washington water storage
projects and agencies responsible for managing water infrastructure across the
country,” said Newhouse. “I am pleased that the bill includes language I worked
on with my Pacific Northwest colleagues to protect federal dams – including the
four lower Snake River dams. Additionally, the bill advances U.S. energy
independence by supporting the development of important energy sources and
technologies, from nuclear and Small Modular Reactors, to hydropower, grid
security, and electricity storage.”
said, “The bill includes a provision prohibiting the use of funds for the
removal of any federally owned or operated dam unless the removal was
previously authorized by Congress.”
Washington priorities in the bill include funding for continued implementation
of the Columbia River Treaty, operations and management resources for the Chief
Joseph, Ice Harbor, and Lower Monumental Dams, and funding for important water
management projects in the Columbia Basin and the Yakima River Basin Water
Enhancement Project. Additionally, Newhouse said, mitigation efforts for fish
impacts in the Columbia River continue to receive funding.
full text of the legislation can be found https://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=394987
addition, Pacific Northwest Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Jaime Herrera
Beutler (R-WA), Newhouse, Kurt Schrader (D-OR), and Greg Walden (R-OR) in late
June introduced legislation to approve the Federal Columbia River Power System
(FCRPS) Biological Opinion for salmon and steelhead until 2022.
legislation, says a press release, “will work to support the FCRPS and the
benefit it brings to our region through the clean, renewable, and affordable
energy it provides while allowing salmon to recover at record rates.”
provides 70 percent of our energy in Washington state – much of which is
produced on the Federal Columbia River Power System,” said McMorris Rodgers.
“The FCRPS ensures people in Eastern Washington have access to clean,
renewable, reliable, and affordable energy every single day—all while achieving
record fish returns. There is still work to be done, but dams and fish can
coexist, and the FCRPS proves that.”
ontent/uploads/2017/06/MCMORR_021_xml.pdf says, “ No structural modification,
action, study, or engineering plan that restricts electrical generation at any Federal
Columbia Power System hydroelectric dam, or that limits navigation on the Snake
River in the State of Washington, Oregon, or Idaho, shall proceed unless such proposal
is specifically and expressly authorized by an Act of Congress enacted after
the date of submission to Congress of a proposal for such modification, action,
study, or engineering plan, respectively.”
May, House members from Washington and Oregon wrote a letter expressing
concerns over the management of the FCRPS following Judge Michael Simon’s March
27, 2017, court order on motions for injunctive relief. After receiving
responses from the Bonneville Power Administration and other officials regarding
the implications of Simon’s decision, “it’s clear that action must be taken to
protect ratepayers in the Pacific Northwest and allow the experts to continue
their work on fish recovery,” said the legislators in a press release.
BPA’s June response, the agency noted $15.28 billion in total spending since
1978 on fish recovery and mitigation in the FCRPS, said the legislators.
CBB, May 6, 2017, “Federal Court Again Rejects Columbia Basin Salmon/Steelhead Recovery
Plan; Orders New BiOp By 2018” http://www.cbbulletin.com/436667.aspx