Save Fish, and Money, by Removing Dams
The Oregonian, May 27, 2009
If the Snake River Dams were removed, railroads would replace the 140 mile barge traffic from Lewiston to Pasco... soft white wheat would continue to be barged down the Columbia River - no need for more rail in the C. Gorge. Capacity upgrades would take place at the Port of Pasco so wheat could be loaded onto barges on the Columbia R. Track, rail car and elevator capacity upgrades would take place in other places around Eastern Washington, as well. The "too many trucks" Boogy Man is a moot point. Besides they already truck wheat out of the uplands down to Lower Granite/Little Goose pools. Trucks would remain as 2% of the cargo traffic.
The removal of the dams would be done with an increase in shoreline rail investments that would only help the regions producers in the 21st century. New rails would create new and diverse markets and transport options for growers in the region interested in delivering to domestic markets as well as export-markets. The removal of these dams for fish recovery cannot happen on the backs of growers and does not have to. Again, the rather tired "truck traffic" premise is borrowed from the Ice Harbor Dam visitor center and is merely a convenient obstacle that entrenched interests like to throw out to argue for an expensive, ineffective status quo.
Also, I would like to know who is going to continue to pay for these four Lower Snake River dams? Taxpayers have spent $8 billion dollars since 1987 on these dams and will be on the hook for another $11 billion to 16 billion in the next 20 years. They are the perfect picture of Big Government at work with your tax dollars. At some point people are going to wake up to the fact that theses projects are not cost effective and that they are robbing the Pacific NW of it natural and cultural common wealth - four runs of salmon and steelhead.
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