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Posted: December 19, 2020

Treaty negotiations are in a critical stage

Letter to the Editor

I have followed the Columbia River Treaty from day one. Recently, I received information that the US Congress petitioned President Trump to immediately terminate the Commercial and Power provisions of the treaty.

They avoided mentioning the enormous flood and irrigation benefits that solely compensate the US. The petition falsely claims the US paid Canada between 150 to 250 million annually. They also fail to acknowledge the vast areas of British Columbia that were sacrificed in the development of water storage for the sole benefit of the Americans.

In the last 11 years Canada received an average of $128 million in the last 22 years. In the last four years, Canada received $250 million or more. In 2000 – 2001 the US paid $632 million. California sued B.C. for their claim of B.C. overcharging. B.C. settled out of court repaying $750 million.

In my opinion, the treaty negotiations are in a critical stage. Our committee is strongly promoting a Weir on Lake Koocanusa. The coal mines will eventually close and the recreation and financial benefits to our area for future centuries are enormous.

I strongly urge and implore all regional representatives and politicians to become more vocally supportive. A Zoom meeting to invite all interested regional parties with our committee is strongly and urgently recommended.

Mario Scodellaro,

Lake Koocanusa Weir Committee

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