Similarly, dryland wheat farmers could retain an affordable, reliable transportation system if some of the taxpayer savings from dam removal are invested in upgrading railroads, highways, and Columbia River barge facilities. The new plan says that’s the best option for fish – but too expensive in terms of irrigation, transportation and power generation. The last couple of years have shown some minor improvements, especially compared to the dismal returns of late. Reality: Removal of the lower Snake River dams need not have a detrimental impact on farmers in eastern Washington. And even that is misleading, since most of that potential exists in spring when the region has a power surplus. The federal government has indicated that the current plan will cost an additional $700 million to $1 billion per year to continue the same general activities that we have been doing for the last decade, but which are not achieving sustainable salmon populations. Not only will 140 miles of the lower Snake once again turn into a free-€‹flowing river with habitat complexity, but 5,500 miles of high-elevation spawning habitat will become more accessible to salmon and steelhead. By David Kinney / TU. In fact, the latter study found that as much as $1.6 to $4.6 billion could be saved with the removal of the four lower Snake River dams. The four dams on the lower Snake River in eastern Washington are part…. In addition to being much cheaper and cleaner than gas, reducing loads through conservation frees up valuable transmission capacity needed to integrate more renewables in the Columbia Gorge, and reduces the need for the peaking ability of the dams. Dam removal would also eliminate a growing flood risk in the town of Lewiston, Idaho, where sediment is piling up behind Lower Granite Dam, the uppermost of the four lower Snake River dams. The US Army Corps took 7 years to complete this report at a cost of $33 million. For several years the issues surrounding the four dams on the lower Snake River have been steeped in misunderstanding and misinformation. Seattle, WA 811 First Ave.,Suite 305Seattle, WA 98104 Phone:  206-300-1003, Spokane, WA P.O. However, that Corps analysis – as did the Council’s analysis attached to the 6th Power Plan – assumed power from the Snake dams is replaced with CO2-producing alternatives. Myth 3: The lower Snake dams are necessary to ensure that wind power can be integrated into the power grid. And studies show that we can remove these dams without resorting to dirty fossil fuels or breaking the bank. It … Inslee and Sen. Murray that failure to act now to breach the lower Snake River dams will result in extinction of salmon, orcas. Because of the unreliability of these four dams, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s 6th Energy Plan shows that the region would only need to replace about 245 MWs of additional power to address the current output of these dams. Ice Harbor Lock and Dam. Myth 6: The real problem for Columbia and Snake River salmon is not the dams, but instead climate change and ever-changing ocean conditions. Removing four dams on the lower Snake River in eastern Washington provides a once in a generation opportunity to recover endangered wild salmon and steelhead runs in the Columbia-Snake watershed (including Idaho’s Salmon and Clearwater rivers, northeast Oregon’s Imnaha and Grande Ronde, and southeast Washington’s Tuccannon), while creating new economic opportunities and investing in a … And RAND’s analysis found that, if done well, dam removal could actually produce as many as 15,000 new, long-term jobs. Myth 8: Removing the lower Snake River dams will hurt farmers and irrigators. Both the Bright Future and the 6th Plan show that we have a sensible and affordable path toward a Northwest energy future where regional carbon emissions are reduced enough to meet the regional climate targets and the lower Snake River is restored for the benefit of salmon, jobs, and communities. Were National Guard Soldiers Forced To Sleep in a Parking Garage? On the Northwest’s Snake River, the Case for Dam Removal Grows As renewable energy becomes cheaper than hydropower and the presence of dams worsens the plight of salmon, pressure is mounting in the Pacific Northwest to take down four key dams on the lower Snake River that critics say have outlived their usefulness. Last week, Kate Brown sent a letter to fellow Democrat Jay Inslee offering her support of his effort to “restore health” to the orcas. Removing the four lower Snake River dams would help to eliminate that problem and thus allow more wind energy to be brought onto the system. Now, the operation of those four dams — Ice Harbor, Little Goose, Lower Monumental, Lower Granite — is under reconsideration. Did Trump Have a ‘Diet Coke’ Button in the Oval Office? climate change and ever-changing ocean conditions. Did Man at Capitol Riot Die After Accidentally Tasing Himself? The impact on customers’ rates would be somewhere between 2-4% percent if spread throughout the region, refuting claims that dam removal would devastate ratepayers. Together, these four dams produce only 790 aMWs of firm power (i.e., the amount of electricity utilities can count on in a drought year). Did Nintendo Sue 9-Year-Old Paco Gutierrez for Making Cardboard Console? The evidence is clear, to save money, save salmon and … At the same time, the fishing industry has lost more than 25,000 jobs because of salmon declines in the Columbia- Snake Basin. Myth 8: Removing the lower Snake River dams will hurt farmers and irrigators. Myth 1:Northwest ratepayers will be devastated by the costs of replacing the power lost if the four lower Snake River dams are removed since these dams generate enough to power Seattle. Jay Inslee. Dam removal is only one piece of the package but remains “foundational” to the recovery of the Snake River, True said. A new EIS released Feb. 28 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) … Listed below are the answers some common misconceptions regarding the effects the lower Snake River dams have on salmon, energy, farms, jobs, and climate change. A RAND Corp. analysis, as well as one by a coalition of taxpayer, energy, fishing, and conservation groups, found that removing the Snake River dams may be cheaper in the long run than continuing to spend resources on the failed strategies of the past. Supporters of retaining the lower Snake River dams warn that if they are removed, the hydropower dams … Reality: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found that the removal of the four lower Snake River dams would actually decrease total air emissions by seven tons per year from the transportation sector. If Seattle had to rely on the lower Snake dams for its power, it would have electricity shortages much of the year. Prior to the completion of those dams in 1975, grain and other products in the region were transported to market chiefly by rail and truck. Hydropower facilities can “firm” or back up wind generation by leaving water in the reservoir when the wind is blowing and generating power, and then releasing the water to generate power when the wind is not blowing. And while those numbers were predicted to be near or slightly below the 10-year average, they are less than half of the numbers we saw as recently as 2001 and 2002. Myth 4: Fish are doing better than ever and returns are approaching historic levels. The biggest dam removal project in American history is back on track, following an agreement last week to move ahead with demolition of four dams on the Klamath River in southern Oregon and Northern California. Aug. 4, 2020 To Save Orcas, Removing Snake River Dams … The same Corps analysis found that air emissions from the power sector would increase by less than 1% in the Western states. While they have a collective generating capacity of 3,033 megawatts, their average yearly output is around a third of that — 1,075 average megawatts (aMWs). Snopes and the Snopes.com logo are registered service marks of Snopes.com. In Snake River by Jonathan Stumpf January 15, 2021 Leave a Comment. Reality: The four lower Snake River dams are relatively unreliable sources of power compared to some other dams in the federal Columbia River system. Indeed, due to the large amount of energy efficiency in the plan, customers’ bills are actually expected to go DOWN over the next 20 years, even if the four lower Snake dams are removed. For the fifth time the issue is back in federal court, and once again, a judge has called for federal agencies to take a hard look at the removal of Lower Snake River dams. Facts about Lower Snake Dam Removal Click on the link for news, letters of record, archives, reports, documents, videos, presentations, and how to help. Simply ensuring that the current federal salmon plan is legally and scientifically sufficient need not have any impact on those regional agreements. They are “run of the river” dams with very little storage capacity and are thus almost totally dependent on the amount of snowpack and rate of runoff. Four aging dams in Washington state block passage along the lower Snake River, a major migration corridor linking pristine cold water streams in central Idaho to the mighty Columbia River and out to the Pacific Ocean. This is a familiar refrain. Reality: Removal of the lower Snake River dams need not have a detrimental impact on farmers in eastern Washington. Among other sources, the Plan for Analyzing and Testing Hypotheses (PATH, a group of federal, state, tribal, and independent scientists convened by the Clinton Administration in the mid-1990s to examine the causes of Columbia and Snake River salmon declines and the best courses of action for reversing those declines) report from 1998 concluded that removing the lower Snake River dams had an 80 and 100% probability, respectively, of recovering Snake River spring/summer chinook and fall chinook. Scientists have been talking about Snake River dam removal for decades. More importantly, the wild returns are still nowhere near NOAA recovery targets, which must be met for eight consecutive years, or the Council’s replacement or recovery targets. Furthermore, a salmon recovery plan including dam removal could free up funding for salmon recovery efforts elsewhere in the Columbia Basin. economic devastation and thousands of lost jobs. Did Hank Aaron Die From COVID-19 Vaccination? Regarding irrigators in the Columbia-Snake basin, removal of the four lower Snake River dams could actually take pressure off upriver irrigators in Idaho, who under an aggressive non-dam-removal plan would need to let more water remain in the river to mitigate for the effects of the dams. Myth 2: Renewable energy and conservation cannot replace the lost generation or cover future load growth if the four lower Snake River dams are removed. Myth 7: Removing the lower Snake River dams will cause economic devastation and thousands of lost jobs. Prior to the completion of those dams in 1975, grain and other products in the region were transported to market chiefly by rail and truck. Reality: Federal taxpayers and Northwest ratepayers have already spent upwards of $10 billion on salmon recovery efforts in the Columbia-Snake River Basin for fairly little in return. Did Kellyanne Conway Share a Nude Photo of Her Daughter on Twitter? For more information, please contact Amy Baird amy@wildsalmon.org or 503.230.0421 ext. When the energy is most needed in winter and late summer, these dams are good for only 425-525 MWs. In truth, while the four Snake River salmon and steelhead populations will benefit the most from the removal of the four lower Snake River dams, this action will also help improve water quality and flow in the lower Columbia River, thus benefiting all 13 listed stocks that migrate through the Columbia. Lower Granite Dam is actually regarded to increase flood risk to Lewiston, Idaho. Oregon’s Governor says removing the four lower Snake River dams is the best way to increase salmon runs. We cannot afford to continue down this path and lose any more jobs. Reality: Removal of the four lower Snake River dams will not significantly increase the cost to integrate or back up wind resources into the grid. Reality: The 2009 Bright Future report from the NW Energy Coalition illustrates that there is enough affordable energy efficiency and renewable energy resources in the Northwest to satisfy load growth, phase out all of the region’s carbon-emitting coal plants, and replace the modest amount of power coming from the four lower Snake River dams. And the relatively small amount of irrigated farmland along the lower Snake River (Ice Harbor Dam is the only one that provides irrigation for farms) could be replaced by extending intake pipes to a free-flowing river. Did Republican Dean Browning Tweet ‘I’m a Black Gay Guy’? Upgrading railroads in southeastern Washington and Idaho to accommodate most of the grain currently moving down the lower Snake River (some would still be barged from Columbia River ports near Pasco, Washington) would not be cheap, but it can done cost-effectively. Reality: Many claim that removing the four lower Snake dams will only help four of the thirteen ESA-listed species in the Columbia-Snake Basin. The lower Snake River dams also contain a series of locks that provide a 465-mile navigable waterway from Lewiston, Idaho, to the Pacific Ocean. If Lower Granite is not removed, Lewiston’s levees, along with the city’s railroad and highway bridges, will have to be raised substantially to protect the community from the ever-rising river. Did Trump Write ‘Joe, You Know I Won’ in Letter to Biden? Recent studies have found that the 140-mile navigation channel created by the lower Snake River dams could be affordably and effectively replaced by upgrading the Northwest’s railroad lines. 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