Statement on Signing the Bill Prohibiting the Licensing or Construction of Facilities on the Salmon and Snake Rivers in Idaho

 

November 17, 1988

 

I am today signing into law S. 2102, a bill prohibiting the licensing or construction of certain facilities on portions of the Salmon River and the Snake River in Idaho. The principal object of the bill is to prevent the construction of a dam on stretches of the Salmon River and the Snake River. I have no objection to this part of the bill.

 

I am constrained to note, however, that one provision of the bill is unconstitutional. Section 2 of the bill prohibits the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from issuing a license or permit for a hydroelectric power plant at Lake Tobesofkee in Bibb County, Georgia, without the prior approval of the governing body of Bibb County. The approval requirement in this provision is unconstitutional because it authorizes officials who have not been selected in a manner consistent with the Appointments Clause, Article 2, Section 2, Clause 2, of the Constitution to perform significant authority pursuant to the laws of the United States. Because the approval requirement is severable from the rest of section 2, I understand the effect of section 2 is to prohibit the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from granting any license, permit, or exemption for a hydroelectric power plant at Lake Tobesofkee.

 

Ronald Reagan

 

The White House,

 

November 17, 1988.

 

Note: S. 2102, approved November 17, was assigned Public Law No. 100 - 677.