the film


Commentaries and editorials

Alternative Energy Can Help
Save Salmon, Steelhead

by Paulette Wittwer
The Oregonian, September 4, 2022

Lower Granite Dam impounds Snake River waters nearly forty miles to the Idaho border. Our native salmon and steelhead are threatened with extinction. Dams play a major role, but the the Bonneville Power Administration and public utilities have launched public relations campaigns to convince the public that dams are essential. However, fish advocates support breaching only four dams on the lower Snake River to improve salmon spawning and survival; there are many sources of hydro power other than these four Lower Snake River Dams. In the Columbia River watershed BPA markets wholesale power from 31 of the larger ones.

The messages opposing the fish advocates are based on fear. They claim there will be sky high electricity rates and replacement power will be difficult and inferior to hydro. They do not acknowledge the growing benefits of alternative, affordable clean energy. They rarely talk about the loss of the fish because they cannot solve the problems the dams present for fish.

In their report on the dams, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Senator Patty Murray refer to studies showing the energy "could be replaced by a clean energy portfolio that would rely primarily on increased solar and wind generation, energy storage, energy efficiency and demand response." The Nez Perce Tribe is installing 530 megawatts of solar generation and seeking additional installations with other tribes that would exceed the 1000-3000 megawatts the LSRDs generate.

If Northwesterners want to save our native salmon and steelhead, we need to understand when we're hearing propaganda and when we're hearing the truth.

Paulette Wittwer, Portland
Alternative Energy Can Help Save Salmon, Steelhead
The Oregonian, September 4, 2022

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