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Biden Administration Considers Breaching WA’s Snake River Dams to Save “Imperiled Salmon Species”

Biden Administration Considers Breaching WA’s Snake River Dams to Save “Imperiled Salmon Species”

“This proposal turns its back on over three million electricity customers as well as the farming, transportation, navigation, and economic needs of the region.”

I recently theorized that the EPA is doubling down on the destruction of this country, as Biden’s poll numbers are collapsing and woke bureaucrats seek to use what power that they have in the time still remaining to them.

The same is true for the rest of the administration, as evidenced by the fact that a leaked document shows an agreement for the federal government to spend $1 billion replacing four functional hydroelectric dams along Washington’s Snake River with green energy alternatives.

The U.S. government is willing to help build enough new clean energy projects in the Pacific Northwest to replace the hydropower generated by four controversial dams on the Snake River, according to a leaked Biden administration document that is giving hope to conservationists who have long sought the removal of the dams as a key to restoring depleted salmon runs.

Still, Congress would have to agree before any of the Lower Snake River dams in Washington state are removed, and that’s unlikely to happen in the near future.

The document is a draft agreement to uphold 168-year-old treaties with four tribes in the Pacific Northwest that preserved their right to harvest fish in the river, among other things.

As a reminder, these dams began construction in the 1960s, when the federal government actually supported the idea that Americans should have access to reasonably priced and reliable energy.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Walla Walla District owns and operates the four lower Snake River dams, all of which are multiple-use facilities that provide navigation, hydropower, recreation, and fish and wildlife conservation benefits.

Because of their locations, size and ability to help meet peak power loads, these four dams do much more than generate energy–they are key to keeping the system reliable and helping to meet its multiple uses — including supporting wind energy. The Snake River dams lie east of the other federal generators, so they provide a significant technical contribution to transmission grid reliability.

The draft agreement has not been made public, but the Washington publication, the Tri-City Herald, obtained a leaked copy.

The Biden administration negotiations have been controversial because they have not included electric ratepayers, among others, who would pay the price for changes to how the hydroelectric system is managed on both the Snake and Columbia rivers.

Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., has reminded the Biden administration that Congress has the exclusive authority not only on any decision to breach the Snake dams, but also the exclusive authority to direct the study of removing them or to authorize replacement resources.

He was joined by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash.; Russ Fulcher, R-Idaho and Cliff Bentz, R-Ore.

The proposed agreement was negotiated as part of the federal lawsuit that is paused until Dec. 15 to allow plaintiffs in the lawsuit to discuss the draft agreement and next steps on the dams with select tribes and litigation parties and to approve proposed actions and commitments.

What is the reason for the potential dam breaches? Supposedly endangered salmon.

The Snake River is the main tributary of the Columbia River, flowing from Idaho and eastern Washington into Oregon. The four dams provide irrigation and emissions-free hydropower for nearby communities, but they have also contributed to the near extinction of 13 salmon and steelhead species that return to the Columbia Basin from the Pacific Ocean to spawn, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Oregon congressman Cliff Bentz, a Republican who opposes removing the dams, joined four other state Republican congressional representatives from Idaho and Washington in writing to President Joe Biden on Wednesday, asking for clarity on some of the proposed actions – which include the possibility of removing the Snake River dams – and where replacement power would come from. Rep. Russ Fulcher, R-Idaho, signed the letter.

“It is imperative that our constituents, whose livelihoods depend on the Columbia River system, have a comprehensive understanding of this document’s contents,” they wrote, “so they can anticipate and prepare for the wide-ranging impacts that will inevitably be felt across the region should the commitments detailed in this document be realized.”

The dangers to the region’s agriculture, industries, and residents appear to be lacking in the considerations made by Team Biden.

Utility and business groups Northwest RiverPartners, the Public Power Council and the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association called the draft agreement the “greatest threat” for the region in a joint statement released Wednesday, saying dam breaching would hurt the region’s ports and farmers and could raise electricity prices.

“This proposal turns its back on over three million electricity customers as well as the farming, transportation, navigation, and economic needs of the region,” the groups wrote.

…Eliminating the dams would also dramatically change the way farmers in Idaho and Washington and Oregon transport their crops, forcing them to rely on truck and rail transportation instead.

The town of Lewiston, Idaho, is home to the most inland seaport on the West Coast, and farmers in the region rely on barges to ship their crops. There are no nearby railroads, and shipping trucks must traverse winding and sometimes treacherous river-side roads.

Other lawmakers — including Idaho Rep. Mike Crapo and Sen. Jim Risch and Montana Rep. Steve Daines — have argued that the government should find other ways to save the fish.

Of course, if you are interested in regional destruction, weakening the nations, and spreading human misery…destroying hydroelectric dams is an excellent plan.

If the draft document does become a reality, then the good people of Washington better hope nuclear options become available. I don’t see solar or wind farms working out nearly as reliably as these dams have.


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Morning Sunshine | December 4, 2023 at 7:28 pm

they want to get rid of dams? start with Hoover and see how it works out before messing with other peoples’

    Think about the “cold war” solution. I’d suggest deterrence through mutually assured destruction:

    Hetch Hetchy;
    San Luis;
    Berryessa; and so on.

    Build back better is a scorched earth policy – it really means you have to destroy what exists.

    And know the politicos will smile at you while they destroy everything they touch.

Illegal immigrants are more important than American citizens especially veterans. Fish are more important than Americans and the country. I guess the plan is to return the US to pre-1492. So easy to destroy… so hard to rebuild… something they don’t grasp.

    gonzotx in reply to alaskabob. | December 4, 2023 at 7:30 pm

    Probably right

    AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to alaskabob. | December 5, 2023 at 9:49 am

    The prosperity of the United States following WW2 made everyone comfortable, and lazy. To the point of younger generations thinking that every whim is a right.

    When America gets to the point where everyone has to scratch the ground for subsistence, then and only then can it right itself.

    Unfortunately, that won’t happen. Our youth are so spoiled, they believe that Socialism in the guise of free stuff is better than working.

    Are they in for a big surprise when Socialist leaders inform them that nothing is free, and will demand slave labor, which immigrants are happy to provide.

      The Post-World War II time was similar to the Post Civil War era. After the Civil War, shoes were no longer one shape for both feet. Increased used of the railroads and telegraph. All of the manufacturing power was turned to peace time economy. The arms industry turned to typewriters and bicycles (Remington Rand and (L.C.)Smith and Corona). Before WWII, the average apartment was a cold water flat. These eras are not the normal progression of an economy. Using them as a template or reference is wrong. We had a boost with the space age. All of these were economic engines… not social welfare programs that burned through money with no effect.

    WTPuck in reply to alaskabob. | December 5, 2023 at 11:54 am

    Oh, I think they grasp it. The destruction is the goal.

    diver64 in reply to alaskabob. | December 5, 2023 at 3:56 pm

    Big Dick Durbin (hat tip Rush) just floated the idea of getting illegals to serve in the military then giving them citizenship. Yes, Dems jammed woke nonsense into the military, culled patriots over the vax mandate and now have recruiting problems so have a handy solution. Almost like they created a problem, got a solution handy and will have a military full of non citizens who will have no problem firing on unruly peasents who refuse to obey their masters.

One really has to wonder what their end game is

They will all be sub to the repercussions of their insane decisions

    Not if they never lose another election.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to gonzotx. | December 4, 2023 at 7:38 pm

    Their end game is to impoverish America.

      wendybar in reply to JohnSmith100. | December 5, 2023 at 5:31 am

      Cloward and Piven strategy almost complete….

      AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to JohnSmith100. | December 5, 2023 at 9:50 am

      To what end?

      Tyranny over the people. “You will have nothing, and like it.”

      The world elite where happy when they were in charge, and we were all serfs.

      We are quickly heading in that direction.

        Power and control….. look at 1984. That is the goal. It isn’t a utopia but an elite with their jack foot on the face of the people forever. There has always been a 1% that wanted control…. the present versions are either NWO or Road and Belt. WEF is just another dictatorship of the proletariat.

The Al Gore model for home energy: tons for me and none for thee.

Kill the birds to save the fish.

As they increase reliance on EVs. Where will that electricity come from?

Yes, they will accelerate the destruction while they still have time. Unlike their sloppy predecessors, who never thought they would get exposed, they now don’t care. In many instances, they act with impunity.

Then they tell us how you know is you know who and will destroy everything in the cosmos, even the salmon!

Pay Indians to transport salmon up and downstream over the dam.

    AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to rhhardin. | December 5, 2023 at 10:00 am

    If this particular species of Salmon is so endangered due to depletion, why are Native Americans exempt from extermination of this species through over harvesting?

    I smell red herring, not salmon.

      Aboriginal rights…. but with modern tools. I am all for native rights if they are performed with the same historical tools. Want a moose out of season for a Potlatch.? Bone and stone spear. Want a whale or walrus…. hideskin boat with oars and hand tossed harpoon. No outboard motors, no rifles…. build your own kayak as done for hundreds of years.

Can’t we compromise? Let’s start by getting rid of half the dam and see how that works out

IIRC, when Roberts upheld Obamacare, the opinion recognized the numbers of people who would be hurt if it were overturned – having been in place for several years with many coming to rely on it.

How then does one opinion recognize the impact of a repeal (Obamacare) while ignoring another (Dams and hydro power)?

This state is salmon crazy of late … US Hwy 101 on the north Olympic Peninsula has had a number of projects this summer putting in fish-friendly culverts to restore traditional salmon runs. There are 4 between my home in east Clallam Co. and the Hood Canal Bridge – and the resident govtard has been boasting of saving the salmon. Meanwhile, the numbers of people moving from the Tacoma-Seattle-Everett side of the pond to our quiet paradise has seen a 200-300% increase in traffic on 101 such that traffic accidents and fatalities are way up. But no improvements to 101 access (merging) is planned until after the fish friendly mods are done. It’s fish before people here.

Other lawmakers — including Idaho Rep. Mike Crapo and Sen. Jim Risch and Montana Rep. Steve Daines — have argued that the government should find other ways to save the fish.

Or don’t. No fish is so valuable as to justify this level of destruction in order to save it. There are plenty of other salmon species; why do we need so many? And if these particular ones are in such short supply then they’re obviously not important to anyone, no one’s living depends on them, so why should we care if they disappear? The courts should have recognized long ago that neither the Endangered Species Act nor these treaties are more important than people’s lives and livelihoods.

    alaskabob in reply to Milhouse. | December 4, 2023 at 8:51 pm

    Since the dams have been in place for so long….. how can they say this will save the fish if there is no “memory” of the spawning grounds? What would be the environmental impact of destroying the dams? These idiots are so convinced that with the snap of their fingers, their clean energy world will magically furnish the power required.

    There are plenty of fish already…. in other places. Part of this is aboriginal rights to return the rivers to their “native” condition. Including fish rights for selective native groups I bet.

    I know that we are not to punish the son for the sins of the father… but if this goes through and disaster happens…. well….

      DaveGinOly in reply to alaskabob. | December 4, 2023 at 10:58 pm

      Fingerlings are taken from a hatchery and released into the headwaters of a watercourse slated for repopulation. The fingerlings become imprinted with the sources in which they are released, and will return to those waters to spawn.

        Fingerlings baked with a little olive oil, salt and pepper are delish!

        alaskabob in reply to DaveGinOly. | December 5, 2023 at 10:41 am

        True….but I am inferring no human interference. The fingerlings could be put into other rivers to maintain the fish. If they are near extinction build up the numbers before wiping out the dams. Back to nature isn’t the romantic reality the dam busters think it is. Humans are worthless to them.

          Many years ago, I subscribed to annual reports from the Dept of Game here concerning the steelhead catch. With little to do at my Boeing job, I spent a few days punching the numbers into a spreadsheet by river, together with the fishable length of the river, to come up with a fish-catch density type ratio – also factored was length of the fishing season for each river. The Elwha easily had the highest ratio of any river in the state. Armed with the data, my secretaries husband made a trip to the Elwha and at a sporting goods store where he bought some bait, declined to enter into a contest for biggest fish. In less than an hour on the Elwha, he beached a 20# steelie, which bested the contest winner. His wife was some PO’d at him on Monday morning when she told me about it – and how before he caught his trophy fish, he’d been dissing my analysis. Thereafter he wanted my spreadsheet every season as soon as the new numbers were out.

          My point being, the dam doesn’t really hurt the fish – they just cluster below the dam. And the indians still get their take of the fish – the DoG just closes the river to us palefaces and the indians can fish year round. All the dam does is changes the location where the fish bunch up and the indians can fish. Some traditional fishing grounds are now permanently under water. Since they can still fish year round and take as many as they want, the only real argument is location. So what’s next, abolish reservations and let them roam the lower 48 in their traditional tribal areas? Displace entire cities?

          Side note – my fishing friends who did the club thing used to tell stories heard from eye-witnesses that the indians were sometimes caught catching mass quantities of fish, only to dump them in the woods to rot.

Tribal overfishing is more of a reason for run depletion than any dam. Add to that the Chinese poaching and you have a recipe for elimination of multiple runs.

Tribes ‘self manage’ their take. No one checks. Because Indians are honest, I suppose.

MoeHowardwasright | December 4, 2023 at 9:38 pm

Please see the Sacramento River delta and the snail darter. This destruction of water resources has been ongoing for over 40 years. They will starve humans to save an insignificant fish. FJB

Years ago our neighbor was the Washington Fish & Wildlife public spokesperson. He was always was talking out of both sides of his mouth when it came to the dams. On time his wife was over talking to us, and stated “Everyone knows we have to take the dams out to save the salmon.”

As the lefty policy goals reach implementation stage there will be more push back. When folks figure out their power bill will increase dramatically or their job and the jobs of entire communities will be impacted things get real. Way easier to agree with the theory than the practice especially when it is your own ox getting gored. If the folks in the Pacific NW are so foolish as to continue to allow loony leftists to govern them the results are on them. Either the voters there will stop giving their political support to leftists or they won’t.

Terrorists are wilding and rioting all over the country, and the Biden administration in “running in circles screaming and shouting” over some f*g fish.
It is clear where their priorities lay: increase entropy, encourage mayhem.

We can build fish ladders that work.

    Andy in reply to Tiki. | December 5, 2023 at 10:34 am

    Wa has some pretty good ones. They need more. I’m not close to the industry, but seems like the tribes pretty much run it.

Boondoggle. SMH

Ummm,no. These are NOT ‘conservationists’. They are progressive ecological cultists. They are ‘enviro-weenies’.

but they have also contributed to the near extinction of 13 salmon and steelhead species
Anyone else note the weasel word in there? They have “contributed“. There is no indication how much they have “contributed.” But they gotta go, according to the EPA.

Let’s assume that it is good to preserve all types of fish.

Clearly, there are methods that will achieve this goal without blasting the dam away!

The crazies just want us to live like the caveman.

Capitalist-Dad | December 5, 2023 at 9:11 am

What do you mean by, “…replacing four functional hydroelectric dams along Washington’s Snake River with green energy alternatives.” How is a hydroelectric dam—not dependent on fossil fuels to my knowledge—not “green energy” already?

    AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to Capitalist-Dad. | December 5, 2023 at 10:10 am

    Only dams created by indigenous species, such as beavers, are acceptable.

    Dams created by homosapiens are invasive, and offends the sensitivities of mud-hutters. These are not environmentally friendly dams.


    A dam is an ongoing environmental disaster. It kills fish and other wild life. It covers up a large area with water, and every time there’s a shortage of rain, much of that area emerges from the water as a stinking mudflat. It gives zero-emissions energy (ignoring the sunk costs of building it), but it’s far from green. OTOH, a dam lasts a long time, continuing to produce energy when it is wanted. I expect that the energy produced over a dam’s lifetime is many times the energy used to build it.

    It’s questionable whether the energy generated by a wind turbine or solar panels will outweigh the energy from fossil fuels used to build it before the thing has to be scrapped and replaced. It’s output is limited by all the time there is little or no sun or wind. It’s output is also often limited at the ideal sun or wind because the time of peak production doesn’t align with the time of peak power requirements. And it will only last 20 or 30 years – assuming hail doesn’t break the solar panels or high winds blow over the wind towers or even the racks holding the solar panels. (Also assuming maintenance is done to keep it running – I’ve seen a whole lot of wind turbines shut down when the wind was fine and neighboring ones were running, because they were built to collect subsidies and it’s not worth repairing them!)

Animal Rights True Believers would be quick to point out that: “Trout are people too!”

“[T]hey have also contributed to the near extinction of 13 salmon and steelhead species.” Nope. There are 5 species of pacific salmon (in the US) and 1 species of steelhead (the anadromous form of coastal rainbow trout), all of which are in the Oncorhynchus genus., None of these species are remotely close to threatened, let alone endangered. It’s true that some *segments* (runs) of anadromous Oncorhynchus are threatened by dams, but the species as a whole are not.

People seem to be missing something. 40% of America’s wheat exports go down that river. How is that barge traffic supposed to happen without the dams?

    CommoChief in reply to diver64. | December 5, 2023 at 4:56 pm

    The same way we all laugh at CA stupid new big rig fuel standards and overlook how much food is shipped out of CA, much less the traffic through the sea ports. The leftist ideologues control the west coast and the woke weirdo policies they enact will impact the rest of us whether we choose to recognize it or not.

    IMO the situation on the west coast is similar to that of Atlas Shrugged with the leftist/collectivist putting Cray Cray policies in place but still demanding that the ‘capitalists’ who produce/deliver keep producing and delivering as if those policies didn’t exist. There was a whole lot of runway to use up before these nut jobs wrecked the economy and the Nation when they began the process. Decades later we are just about out of room.

We ought to insist they run DC entirely on solar and wind power, before they foist any more green mandates on the rest of the country. Would love to see a pedal-powered AF1.

The progressive fascists want to create millions of poor desperate people who will beg for government to save them. Environmentalism is the tool they will use for this purpose.

    MajorWood in reply to ConradCA. | December 6, 2023 at 7:13 pm

    The destruction of America began with the EPA, and the final nail will be pounded in by the CDC. Our biggest threat is those who are determined to save us at any cost.