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Commentaries and editorials

Director Misrepresents Economic Impact of Dams

by Rich Howard
Idaho Statesman, January 2, 2013

Graphic: Tonnage of grains shipped down through the federally owned and operated locks of the Lower Snake River. Terry Flores, executive director of Northwest River Partners, is at it again in her Dec. 11 Reader's View. Hyperbole seems to be her forte.

She claims the Lewiston port shipped products worth "billions" and provided thousands of jobs.

Facts are that the Lewiston port shipped 500,000 tons of wheat worth about $165 million .... maybe she was counting the grains of wheat to get to billions.

Flores said that the barge system of transportation kept 700,000 trucks off our highways. Facts are that one could ship all 3 million tons of wheat and other products both ways with just 100,000 trucks or 300 train loads. In the not-too-distant future, these trucks and trains will be running on natural gas and electric.

While the dams do produce power, they don't fill the energy gap -- anymore. Wind power does! And soon a combination of wind and solar power will make these dams look like fiscal cliffs ... demanding more and more federal money to maintain them and the locks.

Free the lower Snake River of dams and let local economies from Stanley to Salmon to Riggins to Whitebird to Lewiston thrive on a sustainable fishery and its multiplier.

The world needs more drift boats, not barges.

Related Pages:
Statesman's Pro-Breaching Stand is Unrealistic by Terry Flores, Idaho Statesman, 12/11/12
The $9,000 Sockeye? There is a Better Answer by Editorial Board, Idaho Statesman, 12/5/12

Rich Howard, Boise
Director Misrepresents Economic Impact of Dams
Idaho Statesman, January 2, 2013

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