Save Our wild Salmon Coalition welcomes new BPA administrator Bill Drummond
The Save Our wild Salmon coalition welcomes Bill Drummond as the next administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration. We wish him success in leading an agency crucial to Northwest people and businesses, including salmon-based businesses.
To a large extent, his success will be measured by whether BPA changes its unsuccessful approach to restoring the 12 wild salmon and steelhead species that the federal dam system has pushed onto the Endangered Species Act. For 12 years, federal dams on the Columbia and Snake have been operated illegally with respect to salmon. No federal plan for running the dams to avoid extinction and restore healthy populations has come close to court approval. No clear recovery trend is underway in the rivers and much of the progress actually made has resulted from court injunctions that Bonneville opposed. BPA’s approach is harming salmon people and businesses in five states. Bonneville itself has acknowledged that the lack of a legal plan is causing uncertainty that affects all uses and users of the river.
Mr. Drummond and BPA’s new leadership have three immediate opportunities to set a better course.
First, BPA can embrace the development of a new salmon plan for the dams that at last meets the tests of law and science. A new plan is due to federal court one year from now.
Second, Bonneville can support NOAA Fisheries’ recently-launched stakeholder process as a collaborative workspace where salmon, energy, transportation, and agricultural users can work together to tackle the uncertainties affecting us all on the Columbia and Snake. These rivers and what we need from them are changing, climate disruption is accelerating that change, and the challenges that confront all users can only be resolved together - not separately.
Third, Bonneville can change its “overgeneration policy”, which is harming the Northwest’s windpower industry as well as its salmon and salmon economy. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently ruled against BPA’s policy; Mr. Drummond can turn the necessity of revisiting it into an opportunity to provide salmon more useful spill, boost wind energy and energy efficiency, and thereby create Northwest jobs and growth in salmon and clean energy.
Fishing, conservation, clean energy and outdoor business groups congratulate Mr. Drummond on his appointment as BPA’s leader. We want to work with him and his leadership team to restore salmon and make the Columbia-Snake work better for all its users.
For further information:
Pat Ford, executive director, Save Our Wild Salmon 208-345-9067