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Commentaries and editorials

No Dams, No Power

by Mike Cloke
Lewiston Tribune, February 28, 2021

(Aaron Kunz) 20 years ago, Lonesome Larry was the only sockeye salmon to make the 800-mile trip from the Pacific Ocean to Redfish Lake, once a popular spawning area for salmon.

Rarely is a politician is accused of having common sense, and U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson can rest assure no one will attach this label to him.

His recent dam breaching proposal, and those that support it, are simply not paying attention to the future demands of power or the science of fish recovery.

States have experienced blackouts of power as they do not have sufficient power. One of the reasons is their growing dependence on solar and wind power, which are not available when there is no wind or during the night.

Keep in mind power demands will continue to grow as automobile manufacturers are moving from petroleum-burning engines to electric power and these cars will add to the strain on power grids. This strain will never be resolved with solar and wind power as there is no current technology for large-scale storage of the power for future need.

Hydroelectric is clean and by storing water behind the dams, power is stored and ready for our use anytime.

Fish recovery? As for dams, survival for salmon migrating through the Columbia and Snake rivers is about 50 percent today, about the same as in rivers of similar length without dams, such as the Fraser River.

Consult this recent study at

Use common sense.

Mike Cloke, Clarkston
No Dams, No Power
Lewiston Tribune, February 28, 2021

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