Last week, Representative Dan Newhouse served as a keynote speaker at the Andrus Center for Public Policy’s 2021 Environmental Conference at Boise State University. The Conference, “Energy, Salmon, Agriculture and Community” focused on the survival of salmon, energy production and economic development across the Pacific Northwest. Other key note speakers included Oregon Democrat Earl Blumenauer, as well as Idaho Republican Mike Simpson, who has proposed a $33 billion plan to breach the four Lower Snake River Dams. Newhouse, the chair of the Western Caucus, said what many opponents of the dams will not acknowledge is that a host of things have been done to help improve salmon returns. And he added, everyone across the Northwest should focus on efforts that will improve salmon habitat, salmon passage, and the overall recovery of the species.
“And putting our resources behind the NOAA plans that have been put into place by several different administrations, in a bipartisan way, that will truly yield us positive results instead of putting those same resources into fighting whether the dams should exist or not, because that’s not yielding us any beneficial results.”
Newhouse added that he agrees with Representative Simpson, in his desire to see improve salmon numbers in Idaho. But Newhouse noted removing infrastructure is not a good idea.
“We need to work together, as I said before, the dams and the fish coexist, and I think that we’ve proven that they can. We still have a lot of work to do, I have no question about that, but I think that should be the focus of our energy.”
In addition to the key note addresses from Newhouse, Simpson and Blumenauer, last week’s conference included a panel discussion featuring a reporter from the Seattle Times, a member of the Tri-City Development Council, the CEO of Seattle City Light, the PNW Farmers Cooperative and Trout Unlimited.
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