Tiffany Smiley: Patty Murray Wants to Turn the Lights Out in Washington

For Immediate Release

June 10, 2022


Tiffany Smiley on Patty Murray’s Plan Plan to Breach the Lower Snake River Dams: Patty Wants to Turn the Lights Out in Washington

PASCO, WA – Veterans advocate and U.S. Senate candidate Tiffany Smiley (R-WA) issued the following statement regarding the plan released by Senator Patty Murray on the impact of breaching the four dams on the Lower Snake River.

Tiffany Smiley said: “Patty Murray has come full circle from her May 2021 rebuke of a proposal to breach the Snake River dams, and now she wants to turn the lights out in Washington. If she is successful and the four dams of the Lower Snake River are breached, Washington families can expect higher energy costs, higher food costs, a less reliable electrical grid, and rolling blackouts once the hydropower produced by these dams is gone. This is nothing more than a performative partisan measure that hurts the economy AND the environment. Patty Murray left Washington state 30 years ago and has clearly lost touch with the issues real Washingtonians are concerned about. It’s time for her to GO!”

Today’s plan, if enacted, would significantly impact Washington’s economy, it would reduce the clean renewable energy produced in the region, it disregards the fact that salmon runs over the past three years have increased, and it comes at a time when Washington families are already paying record-setting energy costs. Furthermore, it ignores a comprehensive study by the Army Corps of Engineers completed less than two years ago that showed the benefits of the dams far outweigh the reasons proposed for their removal.

Eastern Washington is the home of 47% of the apple acreage in the United States, and 40% of U.S. sweet cherries. Breaching these dams would not only crush Washington agriculture and damage the state’s economy, it would also contribute to food shortages already being experienced world-wide thanks to supply chain issues and the war in Ukraine.

The hydropower produced by these dams accounts for 8% of Washington’s electricity, which is more than solar and wind combined. Breaching the dams would not only drive energy costs up even further for Washingtonians but it would also impact the other Northwest states that rely on Washington’s hydropower. This proposal comes just days after President Biden issued an Emergency Declaration stating that there is a threat to the availability of sufficient electricity generation capacity to meet expected demand. Breaching these dams will only exacerbate the lack of electricity being generated.

Tiffany Smiley concluded: “This Murray-Inslee plan is nothing more than a partisan pitch for their own special interests. It ignores the actual science of the issue and is proposed at the expense of Washington families and the Washington economy.”


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