A Dispatch From the Beltwayby C.J. Karamargin
Boise Weekly, September 30, 1999
From the BW's Capitol Hill correspondent, C.J. Karamargin - Idaho farmers have long argued that removal of the federal dams on the Snake River would drive up transportation costs to unacceptable levels. The increased costs, they've argued, would only make commodities like wheat more expensive.
But a report for release on Friday maintains that highway and rail improvements would keep transportation costs low enough to meet the concerns of those who toil in Idaho's soil.
Authored by Dr. Edward Dickey, a transportation economist who once served the Bush Administration as an assistant secretary of the Army for civil works, the report will be released by the Washington, D.C. - based conservation organization American Rivers. The report, titled "Commodity Transportation After Snake River Drawdown," will offer a conceptual plan that would allow for dam removal and still maintain an efficient transportation system.
An advance copy of the report was not available earlier this week, but Dickey apparently details what road and rail improvements are necessary and where to get the money to make them happen. Because of Dickey's credentials -- he was the highest-ranking civilian official in the Army Corps of Engineers under a Republican president -- it will be interesting to see how it is received.
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