Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Rideback
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by Rideback »

Well, Jingles since the EV's are set up so that you can charge them at home, you'll be able to charge both your home and your EV as well as an Ebike. Also, since there are many good options now for installing solar and wind systems, more and more people will choose to be off the grid, cutting down demand for power.
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by Jingles »

Before breaching the dams conduct an experiment and just shut down their electrical production from the 1st of Dec to the 31st of May. Be a mere 6 months for folks to become accustomed to brown/black outs minimal electrical heat or running electrical equipment without paying out the nose for the energy to run them, when you could get it because of the gov's insistence on power being diverted to certain areas on certain days or hours of the day. Oh one small side affect might be all those EV 's the gov is insisting everyone eventually own will have to stay parked because no power to charging stations, after all wouldn't it be more important to heat homes instead of charging cars?
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by mister_coffee »

The two dams on the Snake River in question (Ice Harbor and Monument) are both small run-of-the-river dams. As such, they have little storage capacity for irrigation or dispatchable electric power. I'd love to see an analysis of the economics of all of the dams on the Columbia River system, but I'd think it a safe bet that both of these dams are poor performers.

The larger of the two dams generates about as much electricity as Wells Dam, and both together generate a touch more electricity than Rocky Reach Dam.
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by tristanbgilb »

I have always been fascinated by the snake river ever since learning the name as a young child when Evil Knievel jumped into the gorge with his motorcycle. I didn't realize barges used it for a shipping channel down the Columbia River. I have heard from farmers, that the dams have to be there for irrigation water whether they make electricity or not. I am not willing to live in the stone ages so I can "skip across the Methow River on the backs of salmon". It's amazing there are any salmon at all. They are really amazing to survive the life of adventure they lead. Steelhead amaze me the most. I have heard they return from the ocean over and over. I wonder if steelhead really visit my Twisp River over and over again year after year. I don't really know much about them but want them in my river. Even more, I want food in Hank's.

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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by Rideback »

The full statement from Inslee & Murray portrays a diferent picture than the article. Mitigation is key.

https://www.governor.wa.gov/sites/defau ... ovdelivery
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Re: Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by pasayten »

Hey... Why don't we trap sea lions and feed them to the orcas? That would solve a few problems and improve salmon runs to boot... :-)
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Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

Post by pasayten »

Be glad when King Inslee's reign is over...
Inslee, Murray recommend taking action to make breaching Snake River dams a 'viable option'

A report produced by Gov. Jay Inslee and Senator Patty Murray recommends replacing the benefits of the lower snake river dams to make breaching them possible.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The benefits provided by four giant hydroelectric dams on the Snake River must be replaced before the dams can be breached to save endangered salmon runs, according to a final report issued Thursday by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Washington U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.

That is especially true regarding the reliable and carbon-free electricity the dams generate, the report concluded.


If the four Snake River dams were ultimately removed, it would be the largest such project in U.S. history. In 2012 the Elwha Dam on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula was removed to restore habitat. At the time, the National Park Service said the elimination of the Elwha Dam was the largest such project in U.S. history.

Congress will ultimately decide if the federally-owned dams will be removed, and would have to appropriate money for the work.

The issue is not a matter of electricity versus salmon, Thursday's report said.

“We believe that is an oversimplified binary choice, and it is one that we do not accept or see as inevitable,” Inslee and Murray wrote.

But, “the science is clear that – specific to the Lower Snake River – breach of the dams would provide the greatest benefit to the salmon,” the report said.

Breaching the dams would significantly improve the ability of salmon and steelhead to swim from their inland spawning grounds to the Pacific Ocean, where they spend most of their lives, and then back to their original spawning grounds to procreate and die, the report said.

Major benefits of the dams besides electricity include making the Snake River navigable up to Lewiston, Idaho, allowing barges to carry wheat and other crops to ocean ports. Eliminating the dams would require truck and rail transportation improvements to move crops, the report said. The dams also provide irrigation water for farmers and recreation opportunities for people.

A draft report released on June 9 concluded the benefits provided by the dams would cost between $10.3 billion and $27.2 billion to replace.

The dams have many supporters, including two GOP members of Congress representing eastern Washington state, where the dams are located. The dams are also supported by barge companies, farmers and other business interests.


Republican U.S. Reps. Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers recently introduced a bill to protect the dams.

But the chairman of the Yakama Nation has said the dams must be breached.

“Our people are salmon people,” tribal council chairman Delano Saluskin said earlier this year. “When the salmon thrive, we thrive; but when they suffer, our people suffer too.”

Exploring the Columbia River Basin in 1805, Lewis and Clark wrote of waterways so full with salmon that you could all but walk across on their backs.

In the late 1800s, up to 16 million salmon and steelhead returned to the Columbia River Basin every year to spawn. Over the next century and a half, overfishing whittled that number down. By the early 1950s, just under 130,000 Chinook were returning to the Snake River.

Construction of the first dam on the lower river, Ice Harbor, began in 1955. Lower Monumental followed in 1969, Little Goose in 1970, and Lower Granite in 1975. The dams stretch from Pasco, Washington, to near Pullman, Washington, and stand between migrating salmon and 5,500 miles (8,850 kilometers) of spawning habitat in central Idaho.

The dams have fish ladders, but too many of the salmon die as they swim through the dams and across slackwater reservoirs on their migrations.

In 1991, Snake River salmon and steelhead were listed as endangered species, requiring production of a federal recovery plan. Over the next three decades, environmental organizations sued the federal government six times, arguing that the recovery plan was inadequate.

The most recent lawsuit, in 2016, resulted in a four-year study of the environmental impact of the dams. Although it found that breaching the dams would be the most effective salmon recovery action, federal agencies ultimately decided against it.

The U.S. government has spent more than $17 billion trying to recover Snake River salmon, through improvements to fish ladders and other measures, with little to show for it. In 2017, the number of Chinook salmon returning to the Snake River dropped below 10,000.


Dam supporters blame declining salmon runs on other factors, such as changing ocean conditions.

Inslee and Murray said there are “clear areas of common agreement.”

“People of every perspective share a desire to see progress on the underlying issues and relief from the uncertainty created by litigation,” the report said.

Inslee and Murray said it is clear that, with adequate money, it is possible to replace most of the services and benefits provided by the dams and to mitigate the loss of others.

Government must move forward to provide replacements for the benefits of the dams “so that breaching of the Lower Snake River Dams is a pathway that can be credibly considered by policymakers in the future," the report said.

Going forward, Inslee and Murray committed to:

—Substantially expand salmon habitat and passage throughout the Columbia River Basin and the Puget Sound.

—Improve the siting process necessary to build the clean energy resources needed.

—Leverage the investments made in the Biden administration's Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act to support energy replacement, infrastructure enhancement, and salmon recovery and habitat restoration.
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