Study finds energy from lower Snake dams easily replaceable

A study released today by the NW Energy Coalition shows electricity produced by the lower Snake River dams can easily and affordably be replaced.

IRU Executive Director Kevin Lewis welcomed news of the study’s release.

“This study totally debunks the myth that we can’t have abundant wild salmon and clean, affordable energy at the same time,” Lewis said. “For decades we’ve known that removing the four lower Snake River dams is the only way to protect wild salmon from extinction. We also now know how easy and affordable that will be.”

Current salmon returns to Idaho are among the lowest in history. It’s clear the federal government’s 20-year-old approach to salmon restoration—which amounts to maintaining the status quo—has utterly failed salmon and the people of the Pacific Northwest.

“The key question posed and answered in the study was whether it’s technically and financially feasible to remove the lower Snake River dams,” Lewis said. “On both counts, the answer is clearly yes. Removing the dams is an economic and ecologic opportunity for the region.”

According to the study it will cost the average residential power user about $1 per month to build generate green replacement power while effecting the largest free-flowing river restoration in U.S. history. 

According to a poll of likely Washington state voters released last week, 63 percent said they’d be willing to pay an additional $7 per month to restore salmon and 74 percent said they’d be willing to pay an additional $1.

•    Go to to read more about the study.