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Ski
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PostTue Oct 20, 2015 12:12 pm 
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just from a quick glance:

SOWS wrote:
Myth 4: Fish are doing better than ever and returns are approaching historic levels.

BS

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graywolf
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PostTue Oct 20, 2015 12:20 pm 
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Ski wrote:
just from a quick glance:

SOWS wrote:
Myth 4: Fish are doing better than ever and returns are approaching historic levels.

BS

Ski,

For clarification, are you calling BS on the myth, or SOWS' rebuttal?
Just curious.

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Jake Neiffer
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PostTue Oct 20, 2015 2:54 pm 
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Monorail-

Here is BPA's rebuttal of the Revenue Stream study.

FTR I lean towards breaching the dams, but I don't know enough yet.  And I think both sides are not providing completely clear or accurate info rant.gif  Shocker.
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graywolf
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PostTue Oct 20, 2015 2:57 pm 
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Jake Neiffer wrote:
FTR I lean towards breaching the dams, but I don't know enough yet.  And I think both sides are not providing completely clear or accurate info.  Shocker.

Same here.

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monorail
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PostTue Oct 20, 2015 9:02 pm 
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Jake Neiffer wrote:
Monorail-

Here is BPA's rebuttal of the Revenue Stream study.

FTR I lean towards breaching the dams, but I don't know enough yet.  And I think both sides are not providing completely clear or accurate info rant.gif  Shocker.

The BPA paper mainly relies on a detailed but seriously flawed 2002 study by the Corps of Engineers.  One reason these dams have been in the news a lot recently is because Jim Waddell, a former Corps of Engineers economist, has done a thorough re-evaluation of that study, and demonstrated conclusively that COE dramatically underestimated the costs of keeping the dams. Here's some of what Waddell has to say:
http://snakeriverwaterkeeper.org/snwk/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Jim-Waddell-IWUB-comments-8-14-14.pdf

Of course, someone else from the COE then went on to present a "study" critcizing Waddell's critique...  but it was mainly critizing him for not adhering strictly to COE official evaluation procedures, when Waddell's whole point was that those procedures had produced flawed results.

The other "point" BPA makes has to do with name-plate hydropower capacity.  They cite one instance where this capacity was apparently marginally useful.  But the fact is that maximum capacity generally occurs at times of least demand, and vice versa.  Everyone who is not on the BPA payroll seems to agree that the dams produce less than 4% of the region's electricity.

On a different note, here's an interesting interview with a Palouse farmer, who offers his perspective on dam removal (scroll down a ways to get to the dam section):
http://nowater-nolife.org/watersheds/columbia/farmingAndDams/index.html
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Ski
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PostTue Oct 20, 2015 9:32 pm 
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graywolf wrote:
For clarification, are you calling BS on the myth, or SOWS' rebuttal?

anybody who believes "fish are doing better than ever" and "returns are approaching historic levels" has obviously got a line on way better drugs than I can find anywhere. either that or they're just flat-out crazy. who are they kidding?

Jake wrote:
FTR I lean towards breaching the dams, but I don't know enough yet.  And I think both sides are not providing completely clear or accurate info rant.gif  Shocker.

I'm starting to think the same thing.
Thank you very much, monorail, for persevering here and digging up the info on this.
I have too many irons in the fire to start poking around doing "research".

Looks like I've got some reading to do here. Don't know how much I can get through tonight before I fall asleep- outside working all day today.

Still really curious about the rail alternative... I think drm's point about there simply not being enough space along the river to accommodate another pair of tracks is valid.
So... how do you get over that hurdle? More runs? Longer trains?
I'm all for increased used of rail, btw... because at some point it's possible they might find something other than diesel fuel to run those behemoths - so let's keep the rail lines open and making money.

and as Jake's comment above mentions: everybody's got some agenda here... somewhere in the middle lies the truth.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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graywolf
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PostTue Oct 20, 2015 9:39 pm 
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Ski, I was pretty sure that was what you meant. Thanks for clarifying it for me.

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Jake Neiffer
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PostWed Oct 21, 2015 6:18 am 
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Yes, thanks Monorail.  I don't doubt the COE study is flawed, but like I said I doubt were getting the whole story from Save our Salmon or Friends of the Clearwater either.

The dredging at Lewiston has apparently been completed.  Port of Lewiston info here.  And Army COE letter here.  The dredging was long overdue and held up for a number of reasons.

Upgrading the turbines is a large cost, but all forms of power are going to need costly maintenance at some point.

There are also other of costs the environmental organizations were conveniently silent on- such as the need to beef up bridge piers.  What those type of costs would amount to I have no idea, but they're part of the picture.
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PostWed Oct 21, 2015 7:28 am 
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I didn't realize the dredging was completed at Lewiston; thanks for the correction.  But as I understand it, the sediment problem is chronic--  looking at news articles just now, I see they were facing the same crisis ten years ago, and will face it again.  And I noticed in the Port of Lewiston news release, it says 9 years since last dredging, but for the past 6 years barges had to be light-loaded due to sediment.  In other words, dredging gave them 3 good years, at a pretty high cost (financially and environmentally).

Concerning the bridge piers, I don't think anyone was concealing that info---  all of the studies cited by the environmental groups include costs of beefing up piers and RR/highway embankments.  No one thinks removing the dams will be free, or that it's just a matter of paying for some dynamite...  they're just saying that removing them is a lot cheaper than keeping them.
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Jake Neiffer
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PostWed Oct 21, 2015 8:24 am 
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Quote:
Concerning the bridge piers, I don't think anyone was concealing that info---  all of the studies cited by the environmental groups include costs of beefing up piers and RR/highway embankments.

Fair enough, I'll stand corrected.  I missed that part when I skimmed thru apparently.

Quote:
they're just saying that removing them is a lot cheaper than keeping them

That's the part I don't get- why there is such a large disconnect in $ figures between the two sides.  I will have to look more into what Waddell is saying.
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Jake Neiffer
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PostWed Oct 21, 2015 12:18 pm 
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Waddell’s analysis and a brief background.

Port of Lewiston writeup.

CEDER’s response to Waddell’s analysis.

Northwest Power and Conservation Council's blog post and link to the Sixth NW Power Plan, which paints a different picture than Waddell’s analysis.

Any of this muddy the waters for you, Monorail?
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PostWed Oct 21, 2015 1:11 pm 
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Jake Neiffer wrote:
Any of this muddy the waters for you, Monorail?

Well, Wagner's "rebuttal" to Waddell is what I was referring to earlier: his criticism seems to be that Waddell didn't strictly follow COE analysis procedures, even though Waddell is saying those procedures led to bad results.  For instance, Wagner doesn't think Waddell should count the cost of dredging because dredging wasn't technically required according to the COE's analysis.  But in reality, dredging is required--  no dredging, no navigable waterway--  and it is a real cost of maintaining the dams.  Wagner also doesn't think Waddell should have used the actual cost of turbine replacement, because apparently COE has some perplexing rule about not using financial data...   but the reality is that the turbines are now being replaced at a drastically higher cost than what COE estimated in 2002.  He also doesn't think Waddell should consider inflation---  which would mean we'd be comparing  dam removal costs in 2015 dollars vs. costs of keeping them in 1999 dollars. So, I think either Wagner is blowing smoke, or maybe he's just defending the integrity of the COE employees who issued the analysis (they may have followed correct procedures, and it may not be their fault that this led to a bad analysis). 

Concerning the Sixth NW Power Plan, both sides seem to cite that in their support, with differences in interpretation.  Bottom line: I don't think losing 4% of capacity is going to be a catastrophe.  Like I said earlier...  turn off the dang lights when you're not using them!

OK, stepping away from the internet for a while...
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PostWed Oct 21, 2015 3:41 pm 
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monorail wrote:
But in reality, dredging is required--

From Port of Lewiston: http://portoflewiston.com/facts/dredging/
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Jake Neiffer
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PostWed Oct 21, 2015 4:55 pm 
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monorail wrote:
OK, stepping away from the internet for a while

Well, I hope you're inclined to come back soon.  Sorry for being a pest.

I believe my curiosity has about run dry on this particular topic.  If it makes you any feel better, I'm more inclined to agree with breaching than dams than when the post started...
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treeswarper
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PostThu Oct 22, 2015 6:39 am 
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Jake Neiffer wrote:
monorail wrote:
OK, stepping away from the internet for a while

Well, I hope you're inclined to come back soon.  Sorry for being a pest.

I believe my curiosity has about run dry on this particular topic.  If it makes you any feel better, I'm more inclined to agree with breaching than dams than when the post started...

Maybe so, but I have one question.  Do they provide any flood protection?
My folks talked frequently about 1948.  The Columbia and tributaries went wild that year.  We've not had such flooding since that year along the Columbia.  What about the Snake?

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