May 15, 2018
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, is hailing legislative progress for her effort to challenge a legal ruling that would divert more water through spillways at the Columbia and Snake River dams.
The ruling, made by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon, mandates that the dams move more water through spillways instead of turbines, a move to aid salmon migration. Herrera Beutler — along with a contingent of Pacific Northwest colleagues — argued that the ruling is not based on science, and moving water away from turbines will deprive the region of the hydropower it relies on.
“Dams and fish can coexist,” she said in a statement. “Our dams provide critical baseload energy to power homes and businesses.”
The bill codifies the 2014 Biological Opinion, a document that outlines management of the river system. Backers of the legislation called it the “science-based” approach. The bill passed the House by a 225-189 on April 25. The Senate has yet to act on the legislation.