Northwest lawmakers press administration on renegotiation of Columbia River Treaty
Originally published April 21, 2014
All 26 lawmakers representing Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Idaho have urged President Obama to make the future of the 1964 Columbia River Treaty a priority for 2014. In an April 15 letter, the bipartisan group asked the Obama Administration to take direct action by mid-2014 on the issue of renegotiation of the treaty, as called for in a recent regional recommendation led by the Bonneville Power Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The 50-year-old treaty provides a framework for coordinated hydropower generation and flood control on the Columbia River system. Starting this year, either side can seek to terminate the treaty with 10 years notice.
"We are very appreciative of the Northwest Congressional delegation coming together like this on this important topic to ratepayers," said Scott Corwin, executive director of the Public Power Council. "This is a very useful step to highlight why the Treaty is important, and why it is key that the Administration act quickly to renegotiate with Canada for a better balanced Treaty for electricity consumers in our region."
The lawmakers said it is essential that the administration advance the regional recommendation through discussions with Canada "to ensure that a post-2024 Treaty better reflects the interests of our constituents and the United States as a whole." They encouraged the White House to remain open to input from regional stakeholders and to keep the Pacific Northwest Congressional delegation apprised of potential negotiations with Canada.
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