Congressman Cliff Bentz (OR-2), together with Congressman Thomas Massie (KY-4), have issued a formal letter of concern to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in regard to issues surrounding the Lower Snake River Dams.

Congressman Bentz Claims CEQ Overstepped Its Authority

The letter requests documents and communications from CEQ regarding the mediation and settlement negotiations in litigation involving the Lower Snake River Dams. The congressmen believe that CEQ acted outside of its role and with bias in favor of certain parties.

Many PNW lawmakers, including Washington Representative Dan Newhouse, have been opposed the federal administration's position to breach the dams for benefit of salmon populations. The memorandum was issued on September 27, 2023.

"The Council on Environmental Quality appears to have dramatically overstepped its authority by interfering in ongoing litigation concerning operation of the Snake River Dams,” said Congressman Bentz. “The CEQ is supposed to act as an advisory board to Federal agencies concerning process and not policy. Instead, it has become the environmental arm of the Biden Administration. This interference is a misuse of the CEQ’s time and resources, extending far beyond its original mandate.”

Letter Sent to CEQ Chair Mallory Requesting Documents

The letter sent to Council on Environmental Quality Chairwoman, Brenda Mallory, was also shared on X (Twitter):

As of this article's publishing, the CEQ and Chair Mallory have not issued any public statement in response.

Lower Snake River Dams Court Case Still Pending

The court case determining the fate of the dams has recently been delayed to give all parties more time to negotiate. Conservation groups, federal agencies, and local producers have been in heated debates over the dams for decades, as issues of salmon populations, emissions-free power, and agriculture come to a head.

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