Washington’s Republican Rep. Doc Hastings told Pasco-Kennewick Rotarians what anyone who is slightly watching the Pacific Northwest political scene already knew.
There isn’t going to be any legislation that goes through the House related to breaching the four dams on the lower Snake River now that he’s chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. Our sister paper, the Tri-City Herald reported Hasting comments in Thursday’s paper. And the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition shared the news with its mailing list.
Hastings said tearing down any dam on the Snake River puts every other dam at risk, the Herald reported. He has criticized the Obama administration for leaving dam breaching on the table in its endangered salmon plan even though it calls it a last resort.
Hastings is still skeptical.
"Dam breaching is the last resort -- until the first lawsuit," Hastings told the Rotary.
He pointed out that salmon and steelhead returns set records for since the dams went in. Ask the federal agencies and they say it’s because of all the good things they have done. The environmentalist, sportsmen and tribal groups that are still suing say it’s because of what U.S. District Judge James Redden has required them to do.
Redden is likely to issue a final ruling this year and if it goes against the Obama administration I wouldn’t be surprised if Hastings sponsors dam legislation, only it will be to reduce the impact of the decision, not implement it!
With proposals to overturn several judge’s decision’s to relist wolves under the Endangered Species Act getting serious looks, Hastings might have a shot with support from Washington Democrats like Sen. Patty Murray.