Members of the Congressional Western Caucus take a close look at the Snake River dams

June 8, 2022

Montana Economy

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Four members of the US Congress recently took a close look at the Snake River dams in Washington.

The four members of the Congressional Western Caucus, which Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Washington, chairs, watched the fish travel through various passageways at the Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River. A boat trip also took them through the lock system near the Tri-Cities.

Representatives Bruce Westerman, R-Arkansas; Cliff Bentz, R-Oregon; Matt Rosendale, R-Montana; and Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa, joined the tour.

From left to right, U.S. Representatives Dan Newhouse, R-Washington; Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa; Bruce Westerman, R-Arkansas; Cliff Bentz, R-Oregon; and Matt Rosendale, R-Montana. Representatives visited the Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River near Pasco, Washington.

Congressional Western Caucus

Newhouse is a strong supporter of the region’s hydroelectric system. He said bringing other congressional Republicans to the roadblock was part of his strategy to promote Washington.

Congress could eventually decide whether to approve a decision to remove or modify the four controversial Snake River dams, Newhouse said.

“The dams are attacked. I think the more members of Congress who can come and see first hand exactly what is involved when we talk about hydroelectric dams and the benefits we get from them – I think the better off we are,” he said. declared.

However, environmental groups and the Nez Percé Tribe continue to press for the removal or modification of the four dams in an effort to protect the endangered salmon.

“Nothing has been more devastating to these species than four dams impeding a 140-mile section of their migration on the lower Snake River,” EarthJustice lead attorney Todd True wrote in a statement. Press. “Scientists have been saying for years that breaking these dams is the best thing we can do to restore these fish.”

But, Newhouse said further study is needed into court-ordered increases in spills over dams, which he says increases dissolved gases in the water, posing a threat to water bodies. Pisces. Moreover, he stated that the increased spillage wastes potential energy.

“It could go through turbines to generate power to boost our economy. The cost of energy is literally exploding. It’s really hard to see all that potential energy being literally wasted,” Newhouse said.

However, environmental groups have said the increased spillage is helping young salmon migrate out to sea, calling the increased spillage a crucial protection for juvenile salmon.

“The science is clear and for many years the spill has increased the survival of migrating juvenile fish. And while the increase in dumping has been helpful, it remains insufficient if we are to save these fish and prevent their extinction,” said Joseph Bogaard, executive director of Save Our Wild Salmon.