The Idaho Conservation League is in favor of Congressman Mike Simpson’s “Northwest in Transition” proposal to restore Idaho salmon and invest in communities, jobs, clean energy, and healthy farming economies. ICL believes this proposal ensures that Idaho communities and stakeholders have the vision and resources to work together to save Idaho’s salmon and build a prosperous and abundant future for all.
The proposal is bold, comprehensive, and urgently needed for Idahoans and the people of the Northwest. ICL looks forward to working with Congressman Simpson and all stakeholders to find solutions together to address the many elements of the proposal, including river restoration, salmon and steelhead recovery, affordable and clean energy, efficient transportation links, and investments in Idaho’s agriculture, outdoor recreation and tourism industries.
ICL is hopeful that this proposal brings people together to work to benefit communities in Idaho and the Northwest, providing jobs and needed investment that will lead to cleaner water, clean energy, abundant salmon and steelhead, prosperous farming, river, and waterfront communities, and affordable energy for consumers.
Here are some highlights of the proposal, which totals $33.5 billion:
- $16 billion for clean energy development throughout the region, and to modernize the Northwest’s energy transmission system and connect new generation facilities.
- $4.6 billion to improve water quality and use throughout the Northwest via watershed partnerships and university research programs. For Idaho, this includes $700 million for mid-Snake River programs, $400 million for grants and incentives to manage agricultural waste, and $100 million in research funding for the University of Idaho.
- $2.3 billion to restore the lower Snake River in southern Washington, replant streamside areas, and control erosion.
- $3.5 billion to rebuild and expand the network of road and rail infrastructure to ensure that agricultural commodities continue to move efficiently.
- $1.85 billion to help industries transition to operating with a restored river, revitalize Snake River waterfront properties and enhance the Lewiston-Clarkston area as a recreational/tourist destination. And funds to establish the Snake River Center for Advanced Energy Storage, a new research organization to be co-located in Lewiston, ID, and the Tri-Cities, WA.