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Legislative Letters

Re: Oppose H.R. 3144, an assault on endangered salmon and environmental review

Apr 24, 2018

Dear Representative:


The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) works to turn environmental values into national priorities.  Each year, LCV publishes the National Environmental Scorecard, which details the voting records of members of Congress on environmental legislation.  The Scorecard is distributed to LCV members, concerned voters nationwide, and the media.

LCV urges you to vote NO on H.R. 3144, a bill to deal with the Federal Columbia River Power System, also known as the “Salmon Extinction Act,” which would undermine the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by mandating dam operations harmful to endangered salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest.

H.R. 3144 would overturn two U.S. District Court decisions in 2016 and 2017 that found that current Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) operations illegally endanger the Pacific Northwest’s salmon runs. The court found that the most recent plan for managing the FCRPS dams violated the ESA and NEPA, would not protect wild salmon from extinction, and would cause irreparable harm to salmon already facing extinction.

Despite these court decisions, H.R. 3144 would mandate the use of the harmful and inadequate operation plans and would largely prohibit the science-based decision making regarding changes to or study of dam operations – replacing regionally-based scientific judgements with a political process in Washington, D.C. This bill would also attack the ESA and NEPA, as well as the two court decisions, by mandating operations that would further harm protected species and derail ongoing environmental review, which could help recover the region’s salmon and steelhead.

Salmon and steelhead are essential to the local economies and Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest. If it becomes law, this bill will hurt the many communities that rely on this irreplaceable species.

We urge you to REJECT H.R. 3144. We will strongly consider including votes on this bill in the 2018 Scorecard.  If you need more information, please call my office at (202) 785-8683 and ask to speak with a member of our government relations team.



Gene Karpinski