If U.S. Rep. McMorris Rodgers is serious about balancing the needs of working families with environmental quality and the needs of salmon, as her May 30 op-ed suggests, then what about the thousands of family-wage jobs that have disappeared with declining wild salmon populations – and could return with real salmon restoration? McMorris Rodgers appears to be saying we can’t have both clean energy and a healthy salmon economy in the Northwest. That is a false choice.
Judge Redden (without contradicting himself) has characterized the current Columbia Basin salmon plan as “close” but needing more work. Here McMorris Rodgers disagrees, charging the judge with imposing his will on an incomplete list of stakeholders for reminding the people and the powers of the region that all options (including dam removal) must be part of any serious “salmon solutions” discussions.
The divisive politics promoted by Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers are fast becoming a thing of the past. Recently, Idaho’s Sen. Crapo announced his support of a comprehensive solutions table that would include Lower Snake River dam removal among the options. The ground in the Northwest is shifting – and Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers would be wise to shift too, bring people together and be part of the solution.