A bipartisan bill passed the House by a 225 to 189 vote Wednesday that would protect the dams by backing the 2014 agreement to keep the dams and still manage the river system to protect fish and support clean, renewable energy.
The effort, introduced by Representative Dan Newhouse says dams and fish can co-exist ...
NEWHOUSE ... "I'm a farmer and I believe it could impair our agricultural economy certainly by limiting transportation options and also by acting negatively on our irrigation resources. We don't have the cost estimates for all of those things this decision will place on the transportation barging, flood control, irrigation, but the federal agencies have estimated that the forced spill will cost utility rate payers $40-million dollars per year in increased electrical rates starting this year."
Representative Cathy McMorris-Rodgers says it's been a long-time coming ...
McMORRIS-RODGERS ... "We've been through the Bush administration, the Obama administration, now the Trump administration working on a plan that would satisfy the endangered species act and it's been a huge undertaking."
The bill now moves on to the Senate where Newhouse says he strongly encourages his colleagues to give this bill serious consideration and act to preserve our dams and maintain low energy rates that families can rely on in the Mid-Columbia region.
Other Northwest Representative behind the bill include McMorris-Rodgers, Jaime Herrera Beutler, as well as Oregon's Kurt Schrader and Greg Waldon.