“This entire process has been a sham. The federal government has jurisdiction over these facilities, so – as I’ve said all along – spending $750,000 on a state-funded dam breaching study is a complete waste of Washingtonians’ taxpayer dollars,” said Rep. Newhouse. “Now the state is turning its back on the people of Tri-Cities by avoiding their opinions and concerns. I demand that Governor Inslee’s Snake River Dam Study group hold an additional public hearing in Tri-Cities so our region’s voices can be heard. It is the least the state can do to uphold any semblance of a legitimate process. One has to ask: What are they afraid of?”
On September 10, 2018, the House Committee on Natural Resources conducted a field hearing at Pasco City Hall to focus on the benefits provided by the Columbia and Snake River dams. The field hearing was set at the request of Rep. Newhouse.
On December 13, 2018, Governor Jay Inslee proposed a $750,000 line item in the state budget to support evaluation of the Lower Snake River dams by a state task force. Reps. Newhouse and McMorris Rodgers released a statement opposed to the study.
On May 13, 2019, Rep. Newhouse hosted a public listening session, “The Future of Our Dams,” in Tri-Cities, so local community members could share thoughts and ask questions of Rep. Newhouse and a panel of experts about the dams, hydropower, salmon mitigation, and other topics related to the Snake River dams.
On May 20, 2019, Reps. Newhouse and McMorris Rodgers publicly urged Governor Inslee to veto the line item in a joint statement, citing widespread support for the dams.