Press Statement

October 21, 2021 Vancouver, WA

Northwest RiverPartners Statement on Injunctive Relief Settlement

Earlier this year, several litigants sued the federal government over last year’s
Columbia River System Operations Environmental Impact Statement and the
accompanying Biological Opinion. They also asked for injunctive relief from the
US District Court overseeing the case.

By severely limiting the amount of electricity the dams would be allowed to
produce, the injunctive relief motion threatened to significantly deplete our
region’s hydropower capabilities and greatly increase the threat of regional
blackouts, while increasing our carbon footprint with the burning of additional
fossil fuels. This outcome would have also created tremendous financial
hardships for vulnerable communities across the Pacific Northwest as a result of
higher electricity costs.

The agreed upon settlement, while not ideal, removes many of the most extreme
risks to public safety and energy equity, and therefore represents a win for the

While we respect that the plaintiffs in this case are doing what they think is in the
best interest of salmon, recent peer-reviewed scientific studies call into question
the benefit of placing additional limitations on the hydropower system.

More scientists are noting the coastwide decline in Chinook salmon populations
and are taking heed of the UN’s warnings that declining marine fish populations
can be directly tied to warming, acidifying oceans due to climate change over the
past 50 years.

Northwest RiverPartners believes the Northwest is made better by its
hydropower resources. These resources provide the region with the lowest
carbon footprint of any electric grid in the nation and the most affordable clean
energy in the US.

We are optimistic that as the region coalesces around the importance of
decarbonizing our grid, transportation, and buildings, more policymakers will step
up in support of hydropower.


About Northwest RiverPartners

Northwest RiverPartners (NWRP) is a not-for-profit, member-driven organization.
We represent not-for-profit, community-owned utilities across Washington,
Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Nevada. We also proudly represent
farmers, ports, and businesses across the region that support clean energy and
low-carbon transportation.

NWRP is focused on raising awareness about how the Northwest’s hydropower
system betters communities and the natural environment, and we encourage
science-based solutions that help hydropower and salmon coexist and