Case is well made for removal of Snake River dams

I write in response to Marc Sullivan and Angus Duncan’s recent commentary to echo their points on the energy value of the lower Snake River dams (“Our grid can save salmon and a green energy future,” The Herald July 25).

Mark Riker, in his commentary (“A clean power grid and its jobs depend on hydropower,” The Herald, July 10) supposes the dams are necessary in the future; however, these four dams are no longer a major source of energy that communities depend on. As we have continued to innovate and enhance our renewable energy portfolio, the role of the lower Snake River dams has lessened. Meanwhile, they’ve continued to age and provide less and less energy generation for the area each year.

While these increasingly inefficient dams silently cost us more and more in taxes each year, their proponents such as Riker continue to make inaccurate claims about their value to ratepayers.

Duncan and Sullivan’s response proves that dam removal and replacement is a necessary step for our energy grid and a due adjustment that will only strengthen the grid in the face of a changing climate. It is also our best chance to restore iconic salmon and the Southern Resident orcas that depend on them.

Breaching the lower Snake River dams is an ecologically informed decision that could improve efficiency and reliability in the Northwest power grid, while saving salmon and generating new clean energy jobs and infrastructure for generations to come.

It’s time for a comprehensive plan that will benefit communities, tribes and economies across the region; a plan that includes dam breaching and new energy replacements.

Nancy Johnson


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