Idaho Congressman Wants to Breach
by John McKay
It's being called an ignorant pie-in-the-sky idea.
An Idaho Congressman is proposing the Federal Government dump $32 billion into a fund that would be used for salmon recovery, and restructuring of the Pacific Northwest.
2nd Congressional District House Rep Mike Simpson wants, as part of this plan, to breach the 4 lower Snake River Dams. They include Ice Harbor, Little Goose, Lower Monumental, and Lower Granite Dams.
Like other failed efforts, this would terminate grain and other ag products from making their way form Lewiston to the Tri-Cities. It would actually create a much larger 'carbon footprint' from all the trucks or rail traffic needed to replace the barges.
Simpson's proposal, according to the Washington Grain Commission, would create tremendous economic pain who are dependent upon the Columbia-Snake River system.
Glen Squires the WWC CEO said:
"...if the Representative is so interested in dams and getting fish back to Idaho, I'd suggest he look at those within his own state that were built without fish passage, cutting fish off from pristine habitat."
The proposal also contains some dangerous provisions, including a moratorium for litigation for any private or public dams, including those that block fish migration. Meaning, if this plan were to go into effect, the public or private sector could do nothing about it. Simpson actually represents a large agricultural District in Idaho, so his plan comes as a surprise; and ecoomically damaging.
This plan, say critics, would undo decades of work and cooperation between the Bonneville Power Administration, NOAA, US Army Corps of Engineers and environmental groups. It's being called an ignorant pie-in-the-sky idea.
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