I received this email today from Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
I just wanted to let you know that I introduced a bill today to support Eastern Washington's hydropower consumers and increase government transparency: The Endangered Species Compliance and Protection Act. This bill would require Power Marketing Administrations, including the Bonneville Power Administration, to separate out and report the costs associated with the Endangered Species Act to each customer.
In our region – and throughout America – the benefits of hydropower aren't being fully tapped because of billions of dollars in excessive regulatory costs to mitigate unproven environmental effects. In the Pacific Northwest, for example, 30 percent of wholesale power rates go to compliance programs for endangered salmon. Despite the growing costs, many consumers don't know how much they're paying for salmon protection, or whether they're paying at all. They have a right to know how their money is being spent. That's where my bill comes in. By empowering consumers with critical information, my bill will contribute to better decision-making about the use of hydropower and make hydropower move available to meet our economy's growing energy needs.
As the founder of the Congressional Hydropower Caucus, I will strongly advocate for this bill and I will continue to be a champion for this clean, renewable, low-cost energy resource.
I look forward to reading the text of the bill once it's posted. Since we consumers should know how much we're paying to protect salmon, shouldn't also know how much of what we pay goes to maintenance, new purchases, profit, CEO pay, political donations, etc.? Why stop with the cost of protecting salmon?
Now the real questions. How does making consumers aware of how much they're paying for salmon protection "contribute to better decision-making about the use of hydropower and make hydropower move available to meet our economy's growing energy needs"? The consumers aren't making these decisions. And if hydroelectric power is a "clean, renewable, low-cost energy resource", why is the cost of protecting salmon such a huge deal for the consumer?
I don't get the impression she's being a "champ" for the consumer.
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