the film
Commentaries and editorials

Destroy the Dams, Save the Salmon,
End Source of Greenhouse Gases

by Peter T. Ferenbach
Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2007

Ms. Dalmia's commentary about the destruction of the Klamath River in Northern California was a symphony of misinformation, strategically omitting key aspects of the issue.

First, she frames the entire issue as driven by crazed environmentalists, declining to mention that the dams have devastated the multi-million-dollar West Coast salmon fishing industry and the communities that depend on it. Opportunistically, she prefers to caricature "eco-warriors," rather than mention that much of the campaign to remove the Klamath dams is driven by the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations and other affected communities.

Second, she neglects to mention at any point that a staggering 95% of the Klamath's native salmon population has been destroyed. Stepping in to protect the remaining 5% of a critical species is hardly a "radical" environmental position.

Third, she alleges that environmentalists have "rejected all attempts by PacifiCorp . . . to take mitigation steps . . . to create a salmon pathway." This is not true. PacifiCorp only considered mitigation because it was required to and its only genuine proposal was to catch migrating salmon, load them into trucks and drive them upstream -- a plan best characterized as absurd. Would it be providing this peculiar taxi service in perpetuity?

Fourth, while Ms. Dalmia does mention that neither Oregon nor California characterize hydropower as "clean energy," she offers no explanation. Both states recognize the downside of devastating fish stocks. In addition, recent research demonstrates that reservoirs like those created by the Klamath dams are major producers of greenhouse gases.

And finally, she neglects to mention that removing the dams is far cheaper than the federally mandated mitigation. In other words, PacifiCorp.'s ratepayers would be better served by dam removal.

Peter T. Ferenbach Executive Director, Friends of the River, Sacramento, Calif.
Destroy the Dams, Save the Salmon, End Source of Greenhouse Gases
Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2007

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