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Commentaries and editorials

Dams are Useless

by Reed Burkholder
Opinion, The Idaho Statesman, June 15, 2003

Reed Burkholder Regarding the meeting in Boise June 5 of the four Northwest governors:

How is it that after nearly 10 years of debate on the four lower Snake River dams and salmon recovery, the four Northwest governors chose not to acknowledge the simple notion that these four federal dams in southeastern Washington are relics from our past which are quite unimpressive as assets?

These dams do not serve agriculture with stored irrigation water or with the diversion of irrigation water into canals.

These dams are weak and erratic power plants that produce as little as 80 average megawatts apiece at times when the average “Northwest Power Pool” load is 40,000 megawatts.

These dams are inefficient providers of transportation (via barges). Trains can haul the same cargo using the 400 acres of track and rail bed that run along the north side of the reservoirs as barges haul using 35,000 acres of reservoir. Trains have an additional advantage — they are benign to fish and wildlife.

Do your homework please, governors.

Reed Burkholder, Boise
Dams are Useless
The Idaho Statesman, June 15, 2003

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