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Commentaries and editorials

Dams and Salmon

by Steve Weiss
The New York Times, June 15, 2009

To the Editor:

Re "Wind, Water and Fish" (Business Day, June 12): Special interests trying to split wildlife conservationists from renewable-energy advocates say we can't have wind power without fish-killing dams. They have no plan for cutting carbon emissions or saving endangered salmon.

The four lower Snake River dams in the article provide little of the region's power but threaten several salmon species essential to the Northwest's economy and treaty obligations. By 2050, the Northwest will need about 25,000 megawatts of new conservation or power resources to meet rising needs and retire coal plants responsible for much of the region's climate emissions.

The dams' 1,000 megawatts of generation are insignificant to making climate progress. Warming, however, magnifies the importance of dam removal to save salmon. Salmon recovery and new clean energy are both essential to climate progress.

Steve Weiss The writer is senior policy associate for the NW Energy Coalition.
Dams and Salmon
The New York Times, June 15, 2009

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