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Hastings Rejects Activist Judge's Efforts to Tear Down Snake River Dams

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Congressman Doc Hastings (WA-04) today released the attached statement following news that Judge Redden has threatened to reject the latest salmon recovery (Biological Opinion) BiOp if it does not make several extreme changes, including having federal agencies create contingency plans to tear out the Snake River dams. 

“We’ve got a judge who put on a black robe and thinks it came with a crown and throne.  Judge Redden has no authority to order dam removal, and dam removal will never happen because Northwest citizens understand we can protect our clean, renewable hydropower dams and recover salmon at the same time.  Federal law doesn’t allow dam removal and no Democrat-politician-turned-activist-Judge can rewrite the law.  Only Congress has the authority to authorize dam removal and as the top Republican on the Committee of jurisdiction, you can be certain I’ll do everything in my power to stop any such extreme action.

“Dam removal would have devastating consequences on our region’s economy.  It would cost thousands of jobs, lead to large increases in greenhouse gas emissions, and there is no solid science that it will aid salmon recovery.

“Dam removal should not be put back on the table in any form, not even as a contingency plan.  Only after the last Administration took dam removal off the table did the region see an unprecedented level of collaboration and agreement that brought together all federal agencies, three states and the major Indian tribes.  Instead of moving forward with a plan supported by nearly all parties involved, the Judge has chosen to fight for the interests of dam removal extremists who are funding the lawsuit.  His letter today guarantees that the BiOp will once again be treated as a political hot potato.  If the door to dam removal is opened even a crack, I fear it’s certain we’ll see an unraveling of progress and disintegration into a pitched dispute that will last years.”

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