What "Unlocking Hydro" Looks Like For California's Fish and Rivers

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The hydropower industry launched a misleading campaign called "Unlock Hydro" to push a bill [HR 3043] that is an industry wish list.

H.R. 3043, the hydropower industry’s so-called “Unlock Hydro” bill creates a giant loophole that constrains state and federal agencies from exercising their authority to ensure hydropower dam operators protect fish, wildlife and water quality. My colleagues and I are springing into action to fight this bill as it moves through the Senate.

These bills attack the ability of federal and state resource agencies to protect fish, wildlife, and rivers from the impacts of hydropower dam operations that would make it easier for dam owners to destroy rivers without concern. If passed, the voices of local communities and people like you would be diminished when it comes to dam operations. We could see more dead fish, more dried up rivers, and degraded water quality on rivers and streams in California and nationwide.

Dam relicensing reviews are the opportunities to change operations to keep cold, clean water for fish in places like Hat Creek, the McCloud River, and Pit River. This process is critical to our conservation successes and ongoing engagement on the Klamath and Eel Rivers, and allows us to continue to advocate for cold, clean waters that promote healthy fisheries and a better California.

Can you send a letter to your Senators, urging them to oppose these dirty energy bills?

Under the guise of “modernizing” hydropower, these bills actually take hydropower dam operations back decades. They make it harder for state and federal resource agencies to require dam owners to protect fish, wildlife, and water quality. And the costs for cleaning up their mess? That would get passed on to taxpayers, like you.

The hydropower industry wants to be seen as clean and sustainable. But hydropower is the only renewable energy that drives species toward extinction. And this legislation could result in many more dried up rivers, dead fish and wildlife, and destroyed recreational opportunities.

Don't let the hydropower industry take us backwards in time. Tell your Senators to oppose this power grab by the energy companies.

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