The following letter was sent from Oregon Governor Kate Brown to the Northwest Congressional delegation regarding HR 3144.
January 22, 2018
As Governor of the State of Oregon, I write expressing deep concerns with HR 3144. I am concerned this legislation would thwart fewer court direction to provide additional spill at dams on the lower Columbia and Snake rivers and the collaborative state, tribal and federal process that has worked effectively to develop spill provisions for 2018. These court-ordered collaborative efforts resulted in consensus recommendations from all sovereigns, representing a positive, and unprecedented, step forward in building stronger consensus from recovery actions. HR 3144 would negate this progress and our ability to implement and learn from these consensus recommendations.
HR 3144 would also derail ongoing collaborative efforts to examine a range of potential future dam operations and salmon management options required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The State of Oregon has engaged in good faith as cooperating agencies with federal agency leads for this Columbia Snake River Operations study. This process is vital to secure a sustainable path forward optimizing power, commerce, agriculture and fish recovery within a changing social and environmental landscape.
Through NEPA and the Endangered Species Act, Congress established processes for federal decision-making that are grounded in a robust analysis of alternatives in a systematic and science-based manner. HR 3144 contravenes these important principles and would disrupt the regional efforts to engage in a full, accurate and transparent analysis of salmon and dam management.
Washington Governor Inslee has expressed similar opposition to HR 3144. Oregonians and Washingtonians share decades of investment in covering Columbia River salmon, and I join my colleague in asking you to oppose HR 3144.
Governor Kate Brown