the film


Commentaries and editorials

White House Considers Impacts of
Breaching Snake River Dams

by Staff
Circle of Blue, July 18, 2022

Lower Granite Dam impounds Snake River waters nearly forty miles to the Idaho border. The White House chimed in on a highly fraught issue in the Pacific Northwest: whether to breach four dams on the lower Snake River.

The two reports released by the Council on Environmental Quality reinforced what salmon advocates have been saying: that breaching the dams will help the endangered fish survive. The reports also detail some of the costs of doing so.

One report, prepared by NOAA with input from state and tribal officials, is meant to inform actions taken by a regional task force to restore salmon and steelhead runs in the basin. It notes that breaching the four dams is "essential" for supporting the river's fish stocks.

The other report is an analysis of how breaching the dams would affect the electric grid and the region's clean energy goals. Prepared by the consulting firm Energy and Environmental Economics, the report found a range of impacts depending on the pace and extent that carbon-based energy is eliminated from the grid. The present value cost range to replace the dams' services is between $11 billion and $19 billion.

White House Considers Impacts of Breaching Snake River Dams
Circle of Blue, July 18, 2022

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