Congress may vote as soon as next week on H.R. 8, the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act of 2015, which includes an alarming amendment with potential to limit the authorities of states, tribes, and natural resource agencies. The amendment, from Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Jerry McNerney, also provides a pathway for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to bypass important environmental laws including the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Water Act.
The Potter Valley Project, a hydropower facility comprised of two dams and a diversion tunnel unnaturally connecting the headwaters of the Eel River to the Russian River, is due for relicensing in just a few years. When SONCC coho were listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1997, it prompted and progressed a conversation about increasing flows into the mainstem Eel. Flows were eventually increased to benefit river inhabitants, thanks to the Endangered Species Act.
Environmental laws are some of the most important tools we have to continue protecting our valuable natural resources. Our natural resource agencies, and state and tribal governments need the time, authority, and tools to evaluate environmental impacts of hydropower facilities.
Click below to voice your concern and ask your representative to oppose HR 8.