Commentary on hydropower misstated conclusions of salmon report

I’ve lost track of how many times, and in how many forums, Kurt Miller has mischaracterized the conclusions Sen. Patty Murray and Gov. Jay Inslee reached about salmon recovery and the fate of the lower Snake River dams (LSRD) (“Hydro remains key to our next ‘Great Electrification,’” The Herald, March 25). He’s at it again in a Herald commentary, claiming that Murray and Inslee decided it’s “infinitely harder” to reach our decarbonization goals, if we breach the LSRD.

Here’s what they actually concluded:

• “The status quo is not an option”

• Extinction of Columbia/Snake salmon and steelhead is “categorically unacceptable”

• “The science is clear that — specific to the Lower Snake River — breach of the dams would provide the greatest benefit to the salmon.”

• The services that the LSRD provide need to be replaced before the dams are breached but such replacement is feasible

• “…breaching of the Lower Snake River Dams should be an option, and … we believe … that it must be an option we strive to make viable.”

• The idea that we have to choose between the dams and our decarbonization goals is a false choice and “one that we do not accept or see as inevitable.”

I’ll add that Miller and his clients’ commitment to meeting the climate challenge is, if real, a recent “deathbed conversion.” Northwest RiverPartners members have a long track record of almost universally failing to support, or actively opposing, virtually every initiative or legislative bill to actually do something to slow and eventually reverse human-induced climate change.

Marc Sullivan


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