the film
Economic and dam related articles

Dam Buster Babbitt

by Jerome Hanson
Capital Press, February 18, 2005

Bruce Babbitt wants to pull four dams on the Snake River – Ice Harbor, Lower Monument, Little Goose and Lower Granite – to save the dear salmon, and he claims it would pay to do so. He appears to be a dam buster and if he got his way he would go for the dams on the upper Snake and if he got them he would want the 11 on the lower Columbia and then those on the upper Columbia in Canada.

In the matter of his claim that it would pay to pull the four dams on the lower Snake, he neglects a number of factors:

He describes the power as a “relatively small amount.” Not so! The rated output of the Ice Harbor is 540,000 kilowatts. Three more dams have been added on the Lower Snake, presumably with similar output making about $946,000,000 per year, at 5 cents per kwh. Even at 50 percent that’s half a billion dollars to save $63 million he says it costs to operate them.

He will “replace the power.” With what? At what cost?

He does not tell us what it would cost to remove the dams and rehabilitate the silted basins.

He does not say what it would cost to upgrade the railway, buy more rolling stock and who would bear the loss of junking the barges.

Some, including a judge, say that tame salmon hatched from wild eggs are the same as wild ones. So if they fired the government men who kill the tames ones when they return to spawn the salmon, would it be OK?

Salmon are still plentiful in British Columbia and Alaska. Not long ago I read that there were a half-million cases of unsold canned salmon in Alaska.

I can go into any supermarket and buy lots of fresh, frozen, smoked or canned salmon.

Sixty percent of commercial salmon is now raised on farms in Canada, Chile and Norway.

The 13 original states got water, trees, mines and salmon from Britain, but when new states were formed in the West the feds kept the resources in their western colonies!

The Department of the Interior was formed by a 1901 act of Congress with the stated purpose of “developing the arid West.” It operates only in 17 western states.

When Bruce Babbitt was secretary he found that the department had achieved its stated purpose and would in the future be an “agency for regulation and revenue.”

He could be campaigning for us colonials to get the same rights as the imperial states back east, as is required by Article IV, Section 2 and the 10th amendment to the Constitution.

Related Pages:
Babbitt: Fix Economies not Dams by Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune, 3/7/5

Jerome Hanson, Winston, Ore.
Dam Buster Babbitt
Capital Press, February 18, 2005

See what you can learn

learn more on topics covered in the film
see the video
read the script
learn the songs
discussion forum
salmon animation