In another man v. fish fight a federal judge, James Redden of Portland Oregon, rejected the federal government’s plans for the 3rd time for the continued operation of hydroelectric dams without jeopardizing salmon. He is citing the Endangered Species Act as the reason, and of course environmentalists are again giddy. Redden wants the dams taken down, and claims “it’s a whole lot easier to take a dam down, than to build one.”
The 83-year old judge showed his bias in an interview with Idaho Public Television:
Even though the judge has taken himself off the case, the interview is to be aired in July for a documentary. U.S. district Judge Michael Simon is now overseeing the case and hopefully he will rule that the dams, which provide electricity for the area, should stay now that salmon populations have increased greatly. This controversy has been spread over the presidencies of Clinton, GW Bush and now Obama, and Judge Redden has rejected plans from all three.
In 2006 Redden ordered water should be diverted from turbines to spill over dams to help young salmon migrate to the ocean. Sound familiar? Eerily like the delta smelt fiasco.
House Natural Resources Chair Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA) whose district entails part of the Columbia River basin which holds a multitude of dams, reacted this way, excerpted:
“This interview candidly reveals the activist bias of Judge Redden that I and many in the Pacific Northwest have suspected for years. Due to his personal views, this one judge unilaterally dragged and drove costly litigation on for nearly a decade.
He issued unprecedented, questionable and expensive rulings resulting in his literally seizing control of the river system’s operation. He ignored clear and sound science that salmon species are returning in numbers greater than before these dams were built, and forced taxpayers to pay for millions of dollars in higher energy bills and lawyers’ fees. He ordered the waste of tens of millions of dollars by forcing the spilling of water past dams that science reveals has benefited few, if any, fish, and may have actually harmed them. He’s ignored federal science that shows more fish benefit from safe barge transportation, and he’s clouded any semblance of the best science and the law regarding federal salmon protection measures supported by three states, many tribes and other stakeholders.”
So Judge, you cause all this commotion, cause the spending of millions of dollars, make this documentary and then take yourself off the case. Nice.
Crossposted at Conservative Outlooks