In the 1980 Northwest Power Act, Congress granted the states a major role in planning future energy resources and protecting fish and wildlife affected by the Columbia River hydroelectric system. Today, as the Council continues to fulfill that mandate, we can look back on a series of accomplishments that have made the Northwest a national leader in the efficient use of electricity and in protecting and rebuilding our signature fish and wildlife, including salmon and steelhead.
Thanks to the efforts of the Bonneville Power Administration, the region’s public and private electric utilities, and federal energy standards, we’ve improved energy efficiency by more than 5,700 average megawatts – enough electricity for five cities the size of Seattle – at about one-third the cost of new generation. Efficiency is now the Pacific Northwest’s second largest energy source, and growing.
High water temperatures in the Columbia River during the summer devastated some salmon returns, notably sockeye, but other runs in 2015 were strong. Working with our regional partners, we believe that the science-based projects funded by electricity consumers to implement our Columbia River Fish and Wildlife Program, from improved passage at the dams to enhanced habitat and effective use of hatcheries, have contributed to the recent overall positive trend.
The Council is pleased to submit its 2015 Annual Report to Congress. We hope that after reviewing it you’ll share our enthusiasm for the work we do to strengthen the nation’s cleanest, most efficient energy system while protecting fish and wildlife resources.
Stephen L. Crow, Executive Director