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Letters for Nov. 20, 2023

Complicit in the continuing slaughter

Nothing on this earth can justify or forgive the killing of thousands of children in this Israeli-Hamas war. But when we support it and when we do nothing to immediately end it, we become complicit in this continuing slaughter.

Tom Charles


Behemoth barging

Capital Press, an Oregon news outlet “empowering producers of food and fiber,” recently published “Behemoth Blades” touting barge transport of wind turbine blades on the Columbia and lower Snake rivers. The article noted these blades are unloaded at Boardman, Oregon, or Tri-Cities’ ports in southeast Washington, and some farther east on the lower Snake to Lewiston.

The article states all the blades are manufactured in foreign countries, including China, and 80% are headed to Canada. What is not stated is that American taxpayers substantially subsidize Columbia-Snake barging.

This situation echoes ExxonMobil’s 2010-13 effort to barge foreign-made Alberta tar-sands infrastructure modules to Lewiston and then truck them to Canada. When Exxon’s efforts failed, due largely to local resistance, the oil giant stimulated manufacturing of modules in Canada.

The Capital Press article states that keeping the four lower Snake dams to accommodate these foreign transports is vital. You and I need to ask, “For whom?”

U.S. taxpayers already heavily subsidize wheat barging to Oregon and Washington deepwater ports for export to Asia. Is spending our taxpayer dollars subsidizing foreign-to-foreign shipments worth sacrificing potential American manufacturing jobs and simultaneously sacrificing our once thriving populations of wild salmon and steelhead to extinction?

Borg Hendrickson

Moscow, Idaho

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