Washington State has a few distinct economic advantages over much of the rest of the country – besides our great intellectual capital (think Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Craig McCaw, etc.), our lack of a state income tax and low-cost hydro-electric energy are chief among those items that give us a competitive edge.
People across our state understand the value that the power-producing dams across our state provides, because we have dams in all parts of Washington. From Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River (producing twice as much power as next closest one in the country, to the four controversial Snake River dams that environmentalists have been trying to remove for years, to the three dams on the Skagit River that power much of Seattle, hydropower is the renewable resource that keeps on giving to generations of Washingtonians.
Unfortunately for the primarily-Seattle voters of the 7th Congressional District, knowledge about this economic foundation of our state does not extend to the two current state legislators who want to replace represent them in Congress. The ignorance displayed by State Senator Pramila Jayapal and State Representative Brady Walkinshaw, as reported by the Seattle Times, is breathtaking.
You need to read the whole article to truly appreciate just how unprepared these two incumbent state legislators are to get promoted to the other Washington. Just consider their responses to questions, even when the moderator was trying to let them off the hook – first Jayapal:
“‘You said we need to get rid of our dams. Did you mean all dams? Or just the Lower Snake River dams?’ (moderator Lynda) Mapes asked.
“‘The Columbia and Snake River, I should have said. Columbia and Snake River,’ (Pramila) Jayapal replied, seemingly calling for the destruction of the massive dams that generate most of Washington’s hydropower, a valuable renewable resource largely responsible for the state’s low ranking in per capita carbon-dioxide emissions.”
That’s right, in her earnestness to pander to extremely far-Left environmentalists, Jayapal wants to tear down 11 dams on the Columbia, four of them among the nation’s seven largest – assuming she knows she can’t remove the three Columbia River dams in Canada, if she even knows that the Columbia River starts in Canada. And she wants to remove the four Washington State Snake River dams (but probably not the remaining 16 from Oregon to Idaho to Wyoming along the Snake).
And even when moderator Mapes tried to let her escape, Jayapal stayed put. Again, from the Times:
“‘Do you mean all of the Columbia dams?’ she asked the candidate. ‘I really do think that … I think that we have better forms of hydropower and I don’t think that our dams right now are helping us,’ Jayapal said.”
Fortunately for Jayapal, her opponent was unable to take advantage of her extreme ignorance, as he was just as clueless. From the Times, Walkinshaw “said he would support removing all ‘non-generating’ dams on the Lower Snake River. That didn’t make sense, either, because all four of the Lower Snake River’s dams generate power.”
But, since they are liberals, and running in Seattle, all was forgiven, evidently. The Times pointed out that “eventually, both candidates collapsed in laughter, each admitting with chagrin that they didn’t know enough about the rivers and their dams to speak with authority about the issue.”
Unfortunately, that didn’t talk them from speaking anyway. And it won’t stop one of them from becoming a Member of Congress.