Below is a statement from Pat Ford RE: the Dec. 20 FERC ruling concerning BPA’s “environmental redispatch” policy implemented in the last 2 years during spring, affecting Columbia/Snake River salmon survival, spill levels at the federal dams, and wind energy production.
FERC’s ruling can be found here: http://ferc.gov/whats-new/comm-meet/2012/ca12-20-12.asp
RE: ON THE FERC’S DECEMBER 20 RULING ON BONNEVILLE POWER’S WINDPOWER CUT-OFFS
Today’s ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) means that the Bonneville Power Administration’s (BPA) policy on wind power cut-offs each spring must be revisited. We want to suggest a “shared solution” approach.
Save Our wild Salmon intervened in the FERC proceeding last year because wild salmon are affected by any actions taken when Northwest dams and wind projects together produce more energy than the region needs. In our filing, we rebutted BPA’s inaccurate claim that it had to cut off wind projects to avoid harming salmon. But the issue now, given FERC’s ruling, is how do BPA and the Northwest create a policy that is lawful, balanced, and, to the maximum extent possible, a win-win?
Salmon fishermen and conservation groups believe shared solutions can be found if the affected parties are all involved in developing it. Salmon recovery, clean, reliable energy and affordable power rates are compatible objectives. Northwest people want solutions that reflect this fact. Our members want to be part of a joint effort to find those solutions.
Northwest people and federal agencies will not reach good solutions if we keep treating salmon, energy and economic policy as separate matters. They are not separate. A process that brings people together to seek solutions to the spring over-generation of energy is the best way forward. We can develop a better policy in time for this coming spring if we start now.