Promising a Process for Parity: The Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act and Andromous Fish Protection
60 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2017
Date Written: April 19, 1981
This article examines the pioneering Northwest Power Act of 1980, which revolutionized electric power planning in the Northwest and called for a fish and wildlife restoration program to compensate for losses sustained at the hands of Columbia Basin dams. The power plan gave priority to conservation measures and renewable resources, and the fish and wildlife program aimed to elevate fish and wildlife protection to be "a co-equal partner" with power generation. The act called for power revenues to fund fish and wildlife measure and established an interstate, regional council to carry out the statute's provisions. The statute gave the council and uncertain amount of authority over the federal agencies operating the world's largest interconnected hydroelectric system, particularly the Bonneville Power Administration and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who must give "equitable treatment" to Columbia Basin fish and wildlife. The article explores the revolution in power planning and fish and wildlife protection the Northwest Power Act aimed to produce.
Keywords: fish and wildlife, electricity, environmental law, natural resources law, federalism, interstate compacts
JEL Classification: H41, H54, H77, K23, K32, N42, N51, N72, Q22, Q28, Q72, Q48, Q56, Q58, R53
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