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Commentaries and editorials

Keeping Snake River Dams
Will Be Costly, Too

by Donald J. Miller
Everett Herald, July 11, 2022

Wheat barge on the Lower Snake River, likely near the entry of Lower Granite dam's lock for transport of wheat downstream. In the draft report to Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Patty Murray on replacement of the benefits provided by the lower Snake River dams, much attention has been focused on the 50-year cost of $10 to 27 billion needed to change our course of action, save salmon and other species from extinction and create a future without these four dams.

What is not stated is the cost of pursuing our current path of diminishing returns. In attempts to create more favorable passage of juvenile salmon to the ocean more water has been directed over the spillways leaving less for power generation. Unfortunately this is a downward spiral for both power and salmon.

By the Army Corp of Engineers own estimates these dams will cost taxpayers $10 billion to $16 billion over the next 50 years as well as extinctions. Perhaps author Jared Diamond said it best in his book "Collapse, how societies choose to fail or succeed": "The values to which people cling most stubbornly under inappropriate conditions are those values that were previously the source of their greatest triumphs."

When built the lower Snake River dams were seen by many as triumphs, but times change. Call Sen. Murray, 202-224-2621 and Sen. Maria Cantwell, 202-224-3441 and tell them you support creating Snake River solutions before it is too late.

Donald J. Miller, Arlington
Keeping Snake River Dams Will Be Costly, Too
Everett Herald, July 11, 2022

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