Does dam breaching make cents?
For years, the Hells Canyon dams in Idaho have been
the subject of intense debate: Should we breach them and restore
the Snake River, or keep the dams and save the local economy? Now,
two reports have come out, representing both sides of the issue.
After more than 10 years of research, Idaho Power, which operates
the Brownlee, Oxbow and Hells Canyon dams, has produced a
25,000-page document to accompany its federal relicensing
application. At the same time, RAND, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think
tank, has published an 80-page report that concludes that breaching
the dams would be more economically advantageous than keeping them.
According to RAND, only 1.8 percent of Idaho's power comes from the
The public comment period
for relicensing the dams ends Dec. 20. For a copy of the Idaho
Power Company's study, or to comment on it, contact Craig Jones at
email@example.com or call 208/388-2464. For the RAND report,