WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association (CSRIA) has recently ran an Open Letter Ad in Washington DC and Pacific Northwest news media urging the Trump Administration to protect the Columbia-Snake River System, stating "The System's non-carbon emitting turbines electrify the region's commerce, serving some of the most influential companies in the world—like Boeing, Microsoft, Intel, Amazon, Nike, and others—and energize the homes of millions of Northwest and California citizens. The System creates an accessible water source for the most productive and efficient irrigated farms on the planet; it offers commercial navigation to ship the nation's wheat to coastal sea ports; it provides for unique recreational opportunities."
The Open Letter Ad in the Washington Examiner, The Hill and Capital Press was specifically addressed to Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, and urged them to convene the Endangered Species Act Committee (i.e…God Squad), "….where an executive directive can be invoked to shield Hydropower System operations from further, abusive litigation, and to adopt System measures that will more than sufficiently protect ESA-listed fish."
The continued dam breaching litigation brought by the National Wildlife Federation, Earthjustice, the State of Oregon, and others against federal agencies and NOAA Fisheries' challenges the Biological Opinion (BiOp), a set of detailed hydropower operating rules that has been approved by not only the dam operators, but other Northwest states, Tribal entities, public utilities, and private interests.
The Open Letter points out that an ESA Committee review is needed because "…the political, and bureaucratic, leviathan created by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has nurtured twenty-five years of Columbia-Snake River litigation, now being encouraged by a single, federal district court judge (Oregon)… this judge now refuses to review evidence that points toward the destruction of about two-thirds of Idaho's wild spring chinook run, the lethal product of inept ESA management regimes and failed oversight of the so-called fish managers."
The Open Letter Ad follows US District Judge Michael Simon's recent rejection of CSRIA's motion that the barging of juvenile fish should be increased instead of spill, even though additional spill would cause an associated decrease in juvenile fish survival and adult returns. CSRIA's argued that "a decision to increase spill is also a decision to decrease juvenile transportation, and that is unquestionably bad for fish." CSRIA also presented data that transport-to-in-river ratios in the Draft 2017 Comparative Survival Study (released Aug. 31, 2017) show that fish transported in 2015 returned at a much higher rate than in-river migrants. CSRIA blames fisheries managers for choosing spill over transportation during the spring juvenile migration in 2015, a choice which resulted in the loss of 65 percent of the wild spring chinook adults returning to the Snake River this year. In particular, in the spring 2015, fisheries managers transported only 13 percent of juvenile salmon/steelhead during low flow and high temperature conditions, when young fish are the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of remaining in-river. This was the lowest percent transported since records were first kept in 1993.
CSRIA has consistently maintained that the only practical solution to protect the Columbia-Snake River System is that the Trump Administration invoke an ESA Committee (i.e…God Squad) process contained in the ESA statute, to stop the perpetual litigation regarding fish in the Columbia and Snake Rivers.
- Reduce capacity power generation in the Pacific Northwest by about 3,000 MW, to meet regional peak power demand in months like January.
- Destabilize power voltage requirements for the greater Tri-Cities, WA area.
- Impair variable load following capability of the federal power system, and diminish required reserve power resources for system reliability.
- Impede the integration of existing and new wind and solar power resources that depend on the federal hydro system for load following and real-time power dispatch.
- Would result in new fossil fuel combustion turbines to be deployed to replace the Snake River dams' lost capacity power generation, which would greatly increase regional CO2 production.
For more information, contact Darryll Olsen of the Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association at 509-783-1623 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE Columbia-Snake River Irrigators Association