Breaching Snake River Dams
by Michael Scrimsher
Breaching of the four lower Snake River dams would cause an incalculable amount of expenditures and environmental impact. It's amazing the ink is wasted in even printing the suggestion as news. All over a highly disputed and controversial idea to hopefully increase the numbers of a few "worthy" subspecies of fish, so the sport fishing industry can kill them at their leisure and a very small group of people would have the option to eat them as their grandparents perhaps once did.
The impact and costs to re-route the existing private, permitted, irrigation systems over a single winter are staggering. The dams provide flexible baseload or peaking electricity generation on demand, with no CO2 emissions or pollutants. If breached, replacement solar and wind power for the dams would have to have costly and CO2 emitting backup generation for all the times the grid needs electricity.
The dams provide many benefits of reliable, affordable electricity at all the times of the day and night that don't coincide with when the wind blows and when the sun shines. Add in the current benefit of navigation and barge shipping, and the issues with breaching the four dams become even more ridiculous.
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