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Report: Breaching Snake Dams
A 75 Billion Dollar Gamble

by Staff
KFLD, July 12, 2022

Breaching dams is a gamble on emerging technologies

Adult returns of wild Salmon and Steelhead from 1962 to 2018 based on counts at the uppermost Lower Snake River Dam.  Four were constructed in the sixties and seventies and populations have been below historic levels ever since. (Source: Idaho Fish & Game's Master dataset) According to a pair of reports released Tuesday, July 12th by the Biden Administration, breaching the Lower Snake River dams could potentially cause rate hikes of up to 65 percent for regional customers.

The documents were released by a variety of sources, including Tumalo Public Affairs out of Oregon. The two studies released were done by Energy and Environmental Economics (E3) out of San Francisco, and Energy GPS Consulting which was completed on June 29th, 2022. It was done for the group Northwest River Partners. They're a group dedicated to advancing hydropower for a wide variety of energy and other uses.

According to the Tumalo release, as well as the studies themselves, our current alternative technologies, or emerging tech, such as solar, wind, etc. are not capable of replacing the power and electricity generated by these Lower Snake River dams.

Rate hikes would be massive

Breaching the dams would result, say the studies, in rate hikes of up to 65 percent for consumers, and due to a lack of technologies to replace the power, would result in severe compromises to the electrical grid reliability. It could also likely result in a significant increase in burning fossil fuels to offset the energy losses.

The studies also reveal the replacement technology would cost several times what the dams cost themselves.

The studies indicate the dams are "irreplaceable" according to Kurt Miller, the Executive Director of NW River Partners (by way of Tumalo news release).

A series of press conferences are scheduled for Tuesday afternoon and this week to discuss the findings of these reports.

Report: Breaching Snake Dams a 75 Billion Dollar Gamble
KFLD, July 12, 2022

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