The Latest Bounce


The Bonneville Power Administration has some good news. In late June, the Washington-based federal power company announced that a pending increase in power prices would amount to 46 percent, rather than the predicted 250 percent (HCN, 6/18/01: Transforming powers). BPA officials praised Northwest utilities and industries for reducing their energy demands by an average of 2,277 megawatts. But there's bad news for spawning salmon: In order to keep the price down, the BPA will not spill any additional water over its dams.

Despite California's energy woes, a federal judge has ruled that the ocean off the Golden State is off-limits to oil and gas exploration until the federal government studies environmental impacts and the state approves the plan. That means 40 offshore leases are now on hold.

The U.S. Senate has followed the House of Representatives and voted to block new oil and gas development in Western national monuments (HCN, 4/23/01: Monuments caught in the crosshairs). Ten Republicans joined Democrats to approve Sen. Dick Durbin's, D-Ill., amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill. Now, the Bush administration will be unable to grant new energy leases in places such as Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Oregon's Jackson County Commission wants Interior Secretary Gale Norton to shrink the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument by more than two-thirds in order to protect ranchers' grazing permits there. The request is a response to Norton's call for input on newly formed monuments (HCN, 4/23/01: Monuments caught in the crosshairs). Norton will review the commissioners' comments before releasing a management plan for the monument.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the Child Welfare League of America helped remove 365 Indian children from their homes in 16 states, mostly in the West, and place them with white adoptive families across the country. Recently, the League apologized to a group of Indian child welfare experts for the Indian Adoption Project, acknowledging the program was hurtful and destructive.

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