Gorton Blasts American Rivers Dam Removal Studyfrom U.S. Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA)
Press Release, October 1, 1999
Washington, D.C. - A study from American Rivers, a D.C. special interest group and a strong proponent of dam removal in the Pacific Northwest, drew fire from Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA) today for claiming that highway and rail infrastructure improvements would offset the impact of removing the dams along the Snake River.
"This is more voodoo economics from another D.C. based special interest group which takes great pleasure in telling people and families of the Northwest how to live their lives," said Gorton. "It's a short-sighted suvey that overlooks three important factors of removing Snake River dams:
Gorton referenced a July report released by the Army Corps of Engineers which quantified the economic impact ot the removal of the four Snake River dams as it relates to the region's water supply, navigation, and power production.
"We must consider the economic and social impacts of removal. In exchange for removing Snake River dams, we would lose hydro-power, which emits no pollutants into the air, for a thermal based power source that would jeopardize the clean air unique to the Northwest," said Gorton. "Further, more heavily-polluting trucks on our already congested roads to haul wheat and barley to coastal ports will have adverse effect on air quality and impose an additional financial burden on the family farm, which would force many of them to give up their land."
Earlier this year, several groups gained significant media attention by claiming that removing the four Snake River dams would bring a $300 million annual recreational windfall to the region. Their erroneous claims were later proved wrong when the Army Corps reported the actual number was about $67 million annualy.
"The bottom line is that if we remove the four dams to increase our chances of bringing a select number of salmon runs back by only 11%, the Northwest will suffer economic impacts of $299 to $342 million a year in perpetuity. This staggering figure doesn't even include the estimated $1 billion it would take to actually remove the dams," said Gorton. "Once again, I call upon dam removal advocates to abandon their cause and work with the region on cost-effective salmon recovery measures that can restore salmon runs and preserve our Northwest way of life."
Oink! Oink! George Magazine, February 1999
Senator's Update Sen. Slade Gorton, June 22, 1999
Gorton Blasts Dam Removal Columbia Basin Bulletin, July 30, 1999
Gorton: No Slush Fund for Dam Removal Columbia Basin Bulletin, June 16, 1999
Improving Salmon Recovery: More Local Decision Making Sen. Slade Gorton, Legislative Agenda, 1999
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