With Leak Report, Snake River Dams Could Be Showing Their Age
Monday, November 28, 2022
Four dams on the lower Snake River have been the sites of contention in the Northwest, and a recent report of an oil spill at one of the dams could be adding fuel to the fire.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported 300 to 600 gallons of oil leaked from the Little Goose Dam between August and October.
Mitch Cutter, salmon and steelhead associate for the Idaho Conservation League, said there have been similar incidences in recent years of leakage from the lower Snake dams.
"We're seeing the results of these dams being old, frankly," Cutter asserted. "They were started to be constructed in the '60s through the '70s, and I think we're seeing the result of infrastructure starting to outlive its useful life."
There has been a growing chorus of calls to breach the dams to allow for greater passage of endangered salmon and steelhead species in the region. However, there are also opponents of the plan. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., recently said there is "no clean-energy future" for the Northwest without these dams.
Cutter is skeptical of Newhouse's analysis, arguing the cost of keeping the dams has become too high to make financial sense anymore.
"They don't provide valuable services to the Northwest system or to the western energy grid," Cutter contended. "They can be easily replaced with other resources that cannot just replace everything these dams do. They would actually improve on the services they provide to the region."
Cutter also stressed it is important to keep iconic species such as salmon and steelhead front and center when discussing this issue.
"There are real solutions for how to replace everything these dams provide, but there's no replacement for wild salmon and steelhead in Idaho or in the Snake River," Cutter added.
get more stories like this via email
Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…
Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …
A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …
Health and Wellness
Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …
Health and Wellness
Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…
In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…
By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …
A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…