You can't fix stupid, so you don't try, but ignorance is another dangerous animal altogether. Clearly, the person or persons who wrote and approved this... (read the editorial below, or you can go here) are grossly ignorant of the entire issue and they are terribly ignorant of the lower four Snake River dams. If the people who wrote that included below are reading this continue reading beyond this woefully ignorant editorial you wrote and approved because this is a teaching moment and clearly you need an education. I've highlighted the utterly false statements in red, but seriously there were more, many more. I don't have the time to provide for you the education you sorely missed.
Judge Redden's decision to step down is right call US District Judge James Redden was fixated on dam breaching as he three times rejected salmon recovery plans.
To this point, U.S. District Judge James Redden has consistently made lousy decisions as he rendered judgments regarding the federal government's effort to balance wild salmon survival with generating power from the dams on the Columbia River. Redden has rejected three different federal plans largely because taking down the dams was not a viable option.
But last week the judge finally made a good call -- he asked this case be reassigned to another judge.
Redden should have stepped aside years ago. It's been clear Redden has been fixated on dam breaching at the expense of common sense.
While the federal government's plans have not been perfect, they all seemed to be reasonable as they considered science, economics and reality. The fact is breaching the dams would be a disaster for humans without ensuring salmon survival.
A decade ago the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a study on breaching the Snake River dams. The Corps considered a variety of factors and ultimately concluded that dam breaching would do more harm than good. The Corps said dam breaching would increase the chances of salmon restoration only slightly -- if at all -- while taking a huge toll on the economy of the region.
Power rates would increase and so would pollution as hydropower -- a clean, renewable energy source -- would have to be replaced with power plants, many of them fueled by coal or natural gas.
Eastern Washington would be hit particularly hard as the loss of dams would cause flooding, put more trucks on the road as grain and other commodities could not be barged to market, and eliminate irrigation to many farms.
And given the current situation in this country -- and the world -- Congress is not going to allow this to occur. Dam breaching, even if salmon survival could be guaranteed, is an option that is off the table.
Redden should have been focusing on reasonable, realistic solutions rather than pushing his fringe views.
It was announced this week that the salmon case has been assigned to District Judge Michael Simon, who was confirmed to the bench in June by the U.S. Senate.
We hope Simon takes a more pragmatic view than Redden so a reasonable and effective salmon recovery plan can move forward.
Again, as a person who has won several awards in journalism and who holds an advanced degree in journalism, it brings me great pain when I see something written where the writer clearly did not do even the slightest bit of research before spouting off. To the writer of that, type in "power benefits of the lower Snake River dams" in the search engine of your choice. Here is the link. Now read along with me, the last line in the second paragraph. It says...
"These dams were not built to control floods."
Which begs the question why did you write, "Eastern Washington would be hit particularly hard as the loss of dams would cause flooding..."? You just assumed all dams are for flood control, didn't you? Pay attention next time.
Now, quickly, are wild Snake River salmon more valuable to you than 13 farms in eastern Washington. This is important because you wrote that eastern Washington would be hit particularly hard if we breached the dams because in your words and I quote,
"Eastern Washington would be hit particularly hard as the loss of dams would cause flooding, put more trucks on the road as grain and other commodities could not be barged to market, and eliminate irrigation to many farms."
First of all, only one of your four salmon killing reservoirs is providing irrigation and it only provides irrigation for 13 farms. Secondly, there are a lot of places that sell pipe. And those 13 farmers can probably fund the pipe extension needed to continue irrigating from a free flowing river.
Moving on, because you've said so much here that is completely false and I would hate to miss correcting you on this gem of yours...
"The fact is breaching the dams would be a disaster for humans without ensuring salmon survival."
Would you care to support that with facts because you didn't support it with facts in your editorial, as I have pointed out above?
The dams are a subsidy for agriculture in eastern Washington and northern Idaho. They are a virtually unaccountable subsidy for farmers who already receive numerous other subsidies so they can sell their crops competitively overseas primarily. Let's take a more holistic approach to this whole issue as you tried to with this statement born out of fear...
"And given the current situation in this country -- and the world -- Congress is not going to allow this to occur. Dam breaching, even if salmon survival could be guaranteed, is an option that is off the table."
Your federal government and mine is in debt $15 trillion today and that number is growing every second. You are supporting a hidden subsidy for farmers who receive various other subsidies so they can sell grain in other countries for the most part. You support keeping four dams that cost a lot to maintain, don't generate a lot of power unless it is during spring runoff when the Pacific Northwest power grid is overloaded with electricity to the point they force wind power to shut down. You support four dams that are a part of the extraction economy of the United States, the economy we've been suffering from that allows businesses from other countries to extract our wealth in natural resources and capital while we all sit around experiencing the wonders of boom/bust cycles in various "what's hot now sectors of the economy."
Lower Granite Dam, the fourth of the lower Snake dams when you go upstream, is trapping sediment that is filling the reservoir behind it and threatening to make downtown Lewiston the Ninth Ward of the West. This means we have to spend hundreds of millions on levee raising and dredging for the next 63 years all so a few farmers who are already receiving subsidies in the millions in some cases at a time we are broke can get a good transportation rate for a lousy 107 miles.
You are defending dams that cost ratepayers and taxpayers $500 million annually in mitigation costs for all the damage they do to salmon and I might add those mitigation practices have done nothing for salmon recovery. At a time when this country can't pay its way, you stand hand in hand with the forces that will ensure our continued poverty.
I almost hate to mention that 86 percent of the Western Division of American Fisheries Society voted that breaching the four lower Snake River dams is the only way to ensure wild salmon and steelhead and other anadromous fish recover in the Snake River basin. I almost hate to mention it, because it was a vote taken by scientists and these days in the United States it is hard to find reasonable people who don't automatically discount science and opt for hocus pocus solutions devised in minds of people that never dug out a single fact in their life. Kind of like the thoughts I had about the editorial board at the Walla Walla Union Bulletin when reading your editorial.