(Today, the NW Energy Coalition issued the following press release in conjunction with Save our Wild Salmon, the Sierra Club, and Earthjustice.) Northwest business and conservation leaders oppose legislation to overturn 2016 federal court decision and push imperiled wild salmon populations closer to extinction. House bill would weaken the Endangered Species Act and increase costs […]
Issues: Fish and Wildlife
Salmon and steelhead are icons of the Pacific Northwest – important to both the region’s culture and economy. Yet many runs in the Columbia River Basin are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Hydroelectric dams that harness the Columbia and Snake Rivers for power production are the biggest killers of these fish and threaten other fish and wildlife. By striking a balance between dams, energy and salmon, we can enjoy clean energy, wild salmon, and healthy fish and wildlife populations.
As the Bonneville Power Administration and other federal agencies convene a hearing process concerning the fate of the lower Snake River dams and ongoing efforts to save threatened wild salmon populations, the NW Energy Coalition has released a new fact sheet that describes an affordable clean energy alternative to the dams. The fact sheet also outlines the steps that BPA and the federal agencies should take to assure that the process of creating a new environmental impact statement is thorough, fair and transparent.
Remarks of Nancy Hirsh Executive Director, NW Energy Coalition Lower Snake River Dam Rally December 1, 2016
“All of us who live in the Northwest are being threatened. We’re being told that, if we remove the lower Snake River dams to restore wild salmon, we’ll have to build natural gas-fired power plants that will spew carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and drive up electric rates. In short, we’re being told, we can save wild salmon or we can have clean, abundant, affordable electricity, but we can’t have both.”
NWEC Executive Director Nancy Hirsh will speak this afternoon at 4PM at a rally to call on the Bonneville Power Administration and other federal agencies to conduct a thorough and fair investigation to determine whether the electricity generated by the lower Snake River dams that inhibit salmon migration can be replaced by other clean, renewable power options.
Join the NW Energy Coalition for a conversation about the latest federal court rejection of the government’s plan (biological opinion) for recovering salmon harmed by the Columbia-Snake hydropower system. The decision is a big win for Columbia Basin wild salmon.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon today invalidated the federal government’s 2014 Columbia Basin salmon biological opinion (salmon plan or BiOp). Judge Michael Simon ruled that this latest plan – like each of its four predecessors — violates the federal Endangered Species Act and additionally the National Environmental Policy Act. The Court sided with plaintiff fishing businesses, conservation groups, clean energy advocates, the State of Oregon, and the Nez Perce Tribe.
Thursday (Nov. 19) the Northwest Power and Conservation Council will hold a public hearing on the draft plan at the Hilton Airport Conference Center, 17620 International Blvd, 5-7 p.m., one of eight hearings the Council is conducting around the Northwest. Click here for the Coalition’s short talking points developed to prepare advocates for the regional 7th […]
On Nov. 5th, the Coalition hosted a webinar presented by NW Energy Coalition’s Policy director Wendy Gerlitz. The webinar focused on the Draft 7th Power Plan to prepare advocates around the region for the upcoming public hearings. The link to the recording is below. Please share with your networks.
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council, the region’s official power planning agency, has just released the draft of its seventh regional power plan. The public now has 60 days to provide written reactions and opportunities to attend and testify at public hearings in all four Northwest states.
Nearly 35 years after the Northwest Power Act mandated equal treatment for fish and power generation in the Columbia-Snake system, 13 of the basin’s wild salmon and steelhead stocks are still listed under the Endangered Species Act. Recovery will require, among other measures, changes in hydropower system operations that will reduce electricity generation, such as dam removal or greatly increased spill over the dams. What would replacing the power cost Northwest energy consumers and how does it compare to escalating costs of maintaining aging power system infrastructure?