Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Free the Snake Flotilla, October 3rd
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thunderhead
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PostTue Aug 04, 2020 8:53 am 
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The amount of power generated isn't a valid reason to kill off virtually all the native runs of salmon and steelhead that once populated those rivers.

Of course it is.  Giving 1000000s of people electricity without pollution is more important than feeding 1000s of people and ~100 killer whales with salmon.

Its not just economics.  The dams are also much more valuable from an environmental point of view.  To replace that electricity with fossil fuels would have resulted in about 7 extra coal plants the size of the centralia generating station, running nearly full time for the past 70 years or so. Centralia was the largest polluter in this state already, and we would have vastly increased air pollution without the dams.

Today we would replace the dams with about 15 natural gas combined cycle plants similar to the klamath falls generating station.  Obviously better than centralia, but likewise obviously worse than the dams.

Alternatively we could use/have used about 9 gigawatt class nuclear generating cores and replaced the dams without any air pollution, but our society in its considerable stupidity has decided we can't use nuclear power, so the next best solution to the dams can be crossed off the list.

Thus, the dams are the correct environmental decision in addition to being the correct economic solution.

Win win.
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Brian R
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PostTue Aug 04, 2020 9:22 am 
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All true. Until greens acquiesce on their objections to nuclear power, there won't be any significant movement on dams--or coal & gas for that matter. Sorry, but solar and wind won't get us there.*

*A Tesla-type battery in every home & office tower might smooth out demand spikes and allow some tear-downs. The system was built to accommodate peak demand; home-stored power would reduce these peaks.
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altasnob
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PostTue Aug 04, 2020 12:57 pm 
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Below are the tables directly from the Final Environmental Impact Statement. The dams that were under consideration for removal were on the lower Snake River and include Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose, and Lower Granite. You can see how much hydro these dams produce compared to the larger dams and compared to the entire Columbia River System. You can also see how much hydro that is compared to other ways we get our electricity in the PNW.

For instance, on average, these four dams produce 980 megawatts (MW) of the 21,540 MW total on all dams in the Columbia River System (in the US). By comparison, the PNW produces 9,213 MW of wind, 7,146 of coal, and 431 MW of solar. Seems to me if we as a society wanted to remove the dams and make up for the 980 MW lost through solar and wind produced here in the PNW, it could be done.

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thunderhead
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PostThu Aug 06, 2020 9:50 am 
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True, the 4 snake river dams are less than the entire basin's hydropower, but the salmon they would restore are likewise less than the entire basin's salmon.

So removing them is still very poor math... from both environmental and economic viewpoints.
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Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > Free the Snake Flotilla, October 3rd
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