Energy & Salmon

PNWA strives for a vibrant regional economy and a healthy environment. In doing so, we support maintaining the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) and a fully functioning navigation system on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. We also work in support of ecosystem restoration and the development of alternative fuel sources. PNWA staff chaired the Lower Columbia River Estuary Program’s management plan and successfully lobbied Congress for funds for ecosystem restoration projects.


In August 2011 Judge James Redden remanded the 2008/2010 Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) Biological Opinion (BiOp). He ruled that BiOp mitigation measures beyond 2013 are not reasonably certain to occur and ordered NOAA Fisheries to produce a new or supplemental BiOp. This new BiOp must be completed by 1/1/2014 for the period from 2014 to 2018 and include 1) a reevaluation of the efficacy of the RPAs (reasonable & prudent alternatives) in avoiding jeopardy, 2) identification of reasonably specific mitigation plans for the remainder of the BiOp, and 3) consideration of whether more aggressive actions like dam removal, flow augmentation, and/or reservoir modifications are necessary.

It is important to note that Judge Redden did not ask for an entirely new BiOp. He ordered NOAA Fisheries to fund and implement the BiOp as-is through 2013, including the MOAs (Fish Accords) they have executed with several states and tribes. The judge also did not order the federal agencies to expand the collaborative process beyond the sovereign parties, which are the states and tribes. For more information, view our BiOp Lawsuit fact sheet and other supporting documents below.

Biological Opinion (BiOp) Lawsuit
Oregonian Editorial: Northwest should find hope, encouragement, in a stronger decade of Columbia fish returns
PNWA responds to the Administrations validation of the salmon BiOp

Monetizing the benefits of fish barging
PNWA OpEd: It's time to stop debating and focus on rebuilding fish runs ( Idaho Statesman), June 14, 2009

Judge Redden guidance letter, May 18, 2009

PNWA's letter to President Obama

PNWA's letter to dam breaching supporters
PNWA responds to April 10, 2009 NY Times Editorial "Dr. Lubchenco and the Salmon"
August 2007 Overview of the Federal Hydrosystem Proposals and Analyses

Environmental benefits of Snake River dams: navigation and hydropower
Dam Breaching is not the answer
Waterways Journal Editorial Featuring PNWA
PNWA Response to May 13, 2007 NY Times Article "On the Snake River, Dam's Natural Allies Seem to Have a Change of Heart"

U.S. Rep. Bill Sali's Resolution Supporting Dams


Hydropower is a clean, truly renewable and reliable energy source that serves national environmental and energy policy objectives. Low cost hydropower accounts for 80 percent of the nation’s total renewable electricity generation, and provides 70% of the Northwest’s electricity, making it the nation’s leading renewable energy source. Hydropower is the most efficient form of power production to meet peak demands, to keep our homes warm and our industries operating during the most extreme weather conditions.

Hydropower Fact Sheet
Benefits of Snake River Dams
Delegation letter to OMB supporting existing BPA rate structure in FY2008 budget

Three Governor's letter opposing BPA early interest payment
Power Council Analysis of Administration's Proposal
Vancouver Columbian Editorial describing the benefits of the CSRS, October 23, 2007

Energy Facility Development

PNWA supports federal energy policies, innovative permitting processes and federal funding opportunities that encourage research and development, create incentives, and expedite the processing of applications for new nonfederal energy projects and electric generation capacity. Examples include wind generation, gas-fired turbines, biofuels, wave energy, LNG, and other alternative fuel sources, to supplement hydropower and other existing capacity in meeting increasing regional demand.

EIA Alternative Fuels and Renewables Information
FERC LNG Information
Read more about PNWA's support for new alternative energy technologies in the Pacific Northwest