the film
Commentaries and editorials

Dam Expensive

Mark Thompson, Driggs
Boise Weekly - December 9, 1999

Are the four lower Snake River dams really worthy of our hard earned tax dollars? Hardly.

Nez Perce and Lewis county taxpayer pay about $1.5 million annually so area shippers can move small amounts of commodities, primarily wheat, up and down the Inland Waterway. Maintenance costs at each facility are subsidized by $25 million in federal tax and ratepayer dollars. That's a lot to ask of the average taxpayer, considering that, according to the Army Corps of Engineers and relative to other U.S. waterways, so little is actually moved from Lewiston to Portland by barge in the first place.

In reality, most of the region's very lifeblood is moved by rail and truck, not by barge. Let's redirect our tax dollar subsidies toward these more practical means of shipping as we did before barging began in 1975. As a taxpayer I'm tired of providing what's best for a few individuals while so many of us do without. Bypass the dams.

Mark Thompson, Driggs
Dam Expensive
Boise Weekly - December 9, 1999

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