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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sue Lani Madsen: The media’s different takes on a dam bill

After passage in Congress of HR 3144 on April 25, Rep. Dan Newhouse and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers held an open media call. It was interesting as an apprentice journalist to observe the journeymen at work during a virtual news conference. Public officials want to send messages, journalists don’t want to be messengers. But they send messages in every judgment call required to meet their deadline and word count. Journalists always go for numbers. The House vote was 225-189. In eight newspaper stories surveyed online after the news conference, every one of them grabbed this totally objective yet least useful piece of information, which appeared in the second paragraph in all but The Spokesman-Review, which rightfully buried it.

Nancy Hirsh: Dam study reveals raft of benefits

A new study commissioned by the NW Coalition shows that the ongoing decline in wind and solar energy prices can not only contribute to a cleaner environment, it may help save Northwest salmon and orca whales that are threatened with extinction. The Lower Snake River Dams Power Replacement Study – the most extensive yet undertaken on the subject – shows that power from the Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose and Lower Granite dams can be affordably replaced by a mix of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy resources without compromising electric-system reliability and with little or no increase in greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, electric system adequacy, reliability and flexibility would actually improve.

Terry Flores: Survey on support for Snake River dams misleading

The Spokesman-Review recently reported on a poll conducted by special interest groups that have been campaigning for decades for removal of hydropower dams on the Snake River (“Poll shows Washington voters choose salmon over dams,” March 31, 2018). Not surprisingly, their results purport to show that – wait for it – Washington voters also support dam removal! Yet even a brief look at the survey questions reveal this as a classic “push poll,” in which questions are posed in order to “push” interviewees toward certain answers – not to gather information about what people genuinely think when presented with all the facts.

Mark Schoesler: Blaming salmon concerns on Snake River dams is a red herring

Blaming salmon concerns on Snake River dams is a red herring. I serve the people of Washington’s 9th Legislative District, which includes the lower Snake River from the Idaho border west to U.S. Highway 12, a short hop from its confluence with the Columbia. So when there are new headlines about the idea of breaching the four lower Snake dams, I’m always curious about who’s pulling the strings and how.

Idaho tribes want fish passage above Snake River dams, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes

BOISE – Two southeastern Idaho tribes are seeking to intervene in a utility’s attempt to negate an Oregon law requiring fish passage as part of relicensing for a hydroelectric project on the Snake River. The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes on Tuesday filed documents with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit seeking to intervene in support of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Lawmakers battle over bill to prevent breaching of dams

Three Republican U.S. House members are criticizing Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and other lawmakers for opposing their legislation that would prevent the breaching of four dams on the Snake River to restore endangered salmon runs.

Report: Systemic failures caused crisis at California dam

“Long-term and systemic failures” by California dam managers and regulators to recognize inherent construction and design flaws at the tallest U.S. dam caused last year’s near-disaster there, an independent panel of dam safety experts said Friday, calling it a wake-up call for dam operators around the country.

Ahlquist clarifies breaching dams stance after forum

Idaho gubernatorial candidate Tommy Ahlquist’s campaign said Friday the Republican businessman has always been against breaching dams along the Snake River despite not stating that position when asked at a recent sportsmen’s forum.

Tentative deal approves $216 million for Idaho utility

Idaho officials have reached a tentative agreement approving a utility company’s $216.5 million in relicensing expenses for a three-dam hydroelectric project on the Snake River on the Idaho-Oregon border.

Inslee opposes House bill on Snake River dams and salmon

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is opposed to a bill introduced by Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers that would reduce spill over Columbia and Snake river dams, and prevent the breaching of four Snake River dams in eastern Washington.