Dam fight

Dam fight

David Sparks Ph.D.
David Sparks Ph.D.
It’s the same story after another in the Pacific Northwest with the same conclusion: remove the dams.

A recent White House report supports the removal of four hydro-electric dams

The dams are federal property so it would take an act of Congress to have them removed, but the movement seems to be gaining traction. Estimates to replace just the energy provided by the dams runs as high as $78 Billion, without regard for the typical government delays and price hikes.

Most recently, according to U.S. Representative Dan Newhouse, is U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Governor Jay Inslee and now the President, appear to be “cherry picking” information from recent dam removal reports that supports their agenda.

“One thing that is changing in this whole “dam story” is that the rhetoric is louder than ever. Now it’s just not coming from a U.S. Senator or our state governors, but now it’s coming from the White House too. And, truly the stakes are high, and the situation is as critical as it’s been in a long time.”


As long, Newhouse says, as it fits their narrative.

“Cherry picking is exactly the right term. Since we’re in cherry season, I think that it’s apropos, but science was the casualty here. They were very selective on what science to include in this report.”


Missing in the report, Newhouse says is the higher salmon returns in recent years. Newhouse says any argument for breaching the dams is disingenuous.

“I’m literally outraged by the conclusion reached because, to me, this is a political conclusion. This is not based on science. There was a predetermined outcome that they put together what they needed in order to reach.”


The dams, Newhouse says are not the problem.

“Regardless of whether there’s a dam in place in the river or not, the salmon are facing similar challenges up and down the West Coast. It just happens to be that the Columbia and Snake, guest what, the numbers right now look pretty good. Better than a lot of other places.”


Newhouse says there are other ways to try and help the salmon, but there has to be a lot more transparency in making a decision like this.

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