Your Tri-Cities Electric Bill Costs More Starting Tues, Why?
Controlled water release over damns in the lower snake starting April 3rd will affect electric customers for most of western Washington State, as well as the East side.
The release of water was mandated by U.S. District Judge Michael Simon from Portland from early April until June to help salmon migrate over the damns to the ocean.
The water lost over the spillway can't generate energy and that causes the cost of electricity to increase by $40 million to customers this spring alone.
Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash, told Tri-Cities and state leaders that the US House leadership was working on bipartisan bill, H.R. 3144. The bill would protect dam operations allowing them to avoid water release until 2022.
Rep. Newhouse stated that the bill could possibly be voted on by the House later this month.
Groups supporting the spill say that "significant evidence from decades of studies show(s) that spill volumes higher than those proposed in the 2014 BiOp will lead to higher survival rates”, according to reports. However, their data flies in the face of Federal studies that show negligible benefis from such spills.
The groups opposing the spill state that spilling so much water increases the amount of gases in the water causing fish to get sick with symptoms similar to the "bends". They also say that spilling only speeds up the migration process by only a few hours and that it is not a good investment when all the facts are taken into consideration.
Either way, your electric bills are about to increase.