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U.S. National Debt:

Crapo, Risch, Colleagues Give Biden Administration Reality Check on Financial Burden of Dam Breaching

Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) joined Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) insisting the U.S. Department of Energy address the financial burden breaching the lower Snake River dams would have on Idahoans who benefit from the power generated.  The demand comes after months of the Biden Administration attempting to usurp congressional authority and move toward dam breaching.

“It is disconcerting to note the proposed agreement is already being celebrated as a ‘roadmap’ for lower Snake River dam breaching […] despite the fact the administration has acknowledged only Congress has the authority to remove federal dams . . . While the analyses of cost implications of breaching the LSRDs have so far been incomprehensive, even conservative estimates have recognized the costs would be staggering,” wrote the Senators. “. . .The economic burden on northwest public power utilities and ratepayers is unjustifiable. This says nothing for growing demand for more electricity at all times and the need for reliability.”

Additional signatories to the letter include U.S. Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), Steve Daines (R-Montana), and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming) in sending the letter.

Background: The four hydroelectric dams on the lower Snake River provide multiple benefits to Idaho and the region, including:

  • Transportation of more than 15 million metric tons of wheat in 2020 with nearly 10% of all U.S. wheat moving out on the Snake River alone;
  • $686 million in jobs and businesses associated with Idaho’s Port of Lewiston, the furthest inland port on the West Coast;
  • 95 percent emission-free power portfolio generated by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), allowing small public utilities across the Northwest to lead in clean energy production;
  • Clean, always-on energy that keeps the lights on during extreme weather events where relying on wind and solar would cause blackouts; and
  • Irrigation.

Read the full letter here.