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Economic and dam related articles

Study Addresses
Economics of Dams

by Staff
Idaho Mountain Express, March 30, 2016

George Bush at Ice Harbor Dam telling Pacific Northwest residents he wouldn't remove dams By increasing recreational opportunities, a free-flowing lower Snake River would provide more economic benefit than the four dams there do, a study by a nonprofit research organization has concluded.

The study by Tacoma, Wash.,-based Earth Economics concluded that the dams provide a cost-benefit ratio of 0.15, while a free-flowing lower Snake may yield a ratio of more than 4.3.

The study noted that the four dams generate hydropower and provide navigational benefits for barge shipments out of Lewiston, Idaho. However, the study concluded, due to the dams' aging infrastructure, decreased water flows as a result of climate change and highly competitive power market pricing, the costs to operate them far outweigh the value of the electricity produced.

The study determined that in the first few years following dam breaching, it is estimated there would be $500 million in consumer expenditures related to outdoor recreation. The economic models show that those expenditures would create 4,000 jobs, generate tax revenue and boost incomes.

"With mounting evidence pointing towards the genetic extinction of the wild salmon runs, the people of the Northwest have a right to know if it is truly in their best interest to keep the dams," said Johnny Mojica, research analyst at Earth Economics and co-author of the report.

Barge-Rail Effective, Draws Additional Trains to Portland Port
Idaho Mountain Express, March 30, 2016

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