Salem Electric Supports the Lower Snake River Dams and the Federal Columbia River Power System

March 01, 2021

Salem Electric is pleased to announce that on February 23, 2021, the Board of Directors adopted a resolution that reaffirms its support of clean, renewable hydropower provided by the Federal Columbia River Power System in the Northwest and opposes the removal of any of the lower Snake River and Columbia River dams, or further changes in dams or operations that are not science-based or cost-effective.

Further, the Board supports the 2020 Federal Columbia River Power System Operations Environmental Impact Statement and Biological Opinion which indicates that the current Columbia River System Operations do not violate the Endangered Species Act’s protections for fish and wildlife.

Salem Electric believes that utility customers and dam operators have made significant investments in improvements to the dams and in hydro system operations to benefit fish and wildlife that are contributing to an increase in salmon survival. Salem Electric further supports the Columbia Basin Collaborative which will bring together regional stakeholders, including the governors of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana, Native American tribes, and selected others to help develop solutions to recover endangered salmon within the Columbia River Basin.

Tony Schacher, general manager at Salem Electric, states, “The dams of the lower Snake River provide reliable and affordable electricity to not just the members of Salem Electric, but to homes and businesses throughout the region. When the winds are calm or the skies are dark, wind and solar power do not generate enough electricity to meet the demand. Without these dams, the need for alternative renewables and batteries will substantially increase the cost of electricity in the Northwest.”

Fish Ladder at Lower Granite Dam