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Commentaries and editorials

Keep the Dams

by Greg Branson
Lewiston Tribune, March 16, 2021

In letter, three-person board expresses its 'outrage' over Simpson's dam-breaching proposal

The Washington State Grain Train recently acquired 29 more grain cars to help farmers get grain to export terminals ... Congressman Mike Simpson has come up with a plan to remove our dams in order to save the upper Hells Canyon dams that impact his district. I do appreciate the fact that he has considered the tremendous losses that we would incur. ...

The large sum of money slated to go toward our transportation losses would not even come close to making us whole.

The hypocrisy lies in the fact that the four lower Snake River dams have extensive fish ladder systems that allow for most all of the fish to travel past. The Hells Canyon dams that impact Simpson's district are impassable to fish because they do not have any fish ladders or any way for the fish to pass.

His 35-year moratorium buys off lawsuits at our expense. ...

The batteries required to support the wind and solar infrastructure that he is proposing would require unsustainable lithium mining. His other solution is a "couple of six packs of small nuclear reactors."

Who wants that in their backyard? ...

Let's spend more of that "printed money" figuring out how to make the dams even more fish friendly. We could also study the impacts of predators and commercial fishing in our oceans. ...

If the dams are removed it is widely considered that transportation costs would double if not triple to get our products to market. This would break many if not all the farmers in our area, diminish property values and leave one of Idaho's greatest assets fallow.

Greg Branson, Nezperce
Keep the Dams
Lewiston Tribune, March 16, 2021

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