Press Releases

Simpson Releases Energy and Salmon Concept

Simpson Releases Energy and Salmon Concept

“We can seize this unique opportunity to shape our future; if we all commit to push ourselves outside of our comfort zones and work together to solve these issues ONCE and for all.” – Congressman Mike Simpson

Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson has released a framework for reimagining the Northwest energy landscape and recovering critically endangered salmon populations. For the last three years, he and his staff have held over 300 meetings with stakeholders, tribes, elected representatives and other interests trying to understand and break down the complex issues related to the ongoing litigation, studies, appeals, biological opinions, spill and other issues creating regional uncertainty related to salmon recovery, dams, energy and transportation.

“The Northwest has been caught in an unsustainable cycle of conflicts over salmon and energy,” said Simpson. “For over thirty years, lawsuits, appeals, salmon management directives and endless spending have prevailed, while salmon, energy, agriculture and transportation interests continue to suffer.  What I am releasing today is a proposal to break that cycle and deliver certainty and security to the Northwest without picking winners and losers.”

Simpson has posted a “concept” to his website that outlines a possible path forward for the Northwest to end salmon litigation.  The goal is to protect all stakeholders, maximize the benefits of the Bonneville System and the Northwest’s abundant renewable solar, wind and hydroelectric resources, as well as giving our salmon a much better chance at recovery.

“I understand that after 30 years of litigation and conflict that it is difficult for people to envision a different way forward,” said Simpson. “Changes of this magnitude might be unnerving at first, but we have a unique opportunity to create a solution that finally puts a stop to the never-ending salmon wars. This concept could take Idaho’s salmon off the path toward extinction and put them on a more certain path of sustainability and viability. We CAN protect our stakeholders and modernize our energy system for the next fifty-plus years, and we CAN do this on our terms.” 

Simpson concluded, “I am not releasing legislation today, but I am beginning a conversation and asking the Northwest Delegation, states, tribes, governors, and all stakeholders: ‘What do we want the Northwest to look like in 30, 40, 50 years?’  We can seize this chance to shape our future; if we resist the urge to make snap judgments and instead work together to solve these issues ONCE and for all.  We owe it to future generations to try.” 

The concept can be found in detail on Congressman Simpson’s website