Removing the Snake River dams will hurt not only the farming industry, but the residents of the Pacific Northwest and beyond, for years to come, that according to Columbia Grain International. Jeff Van Pevenage, President and CEO of CGI said removing the dams means grains will cost more, which will hit everyone in the pocketbook. He added it will dramatically impact infrastructure across the region, from increased truck traffic on Northwest highways, to farmers needing to build more storage facilities on their property.
“The Grain industry would definitely have to build more space down here in Portland, in order to be more fluid when vessels are here and transportation is slower to get here. So you’re going to need to build more space down here, which is extremely costly to do. We’ll likely need more rail unloading space, and frankly that’s not even possible in a couple of the facilities down here.”
He added if the dams are removed, growers will have fewer international market options and struggle to compete internationally. Van Pevenage noted that the Columbia-Snake River Systems has served communities for over 40 years, providing clean power, jobs, irrigation, flood control and much more. He added a lot of money has been spent and a lot of adaptations have been made to the Snake River Dams to improve salmon populations, and the numbers prove those efforts are working.
“We’ve sat here and listened to ‘trust the science’ for the past year and a half, 18 months, right? Let’s just trust the science here and come and see that it’s truly working to allow fish to get back up stream. A lot of the problem is out in the ocean, it’s not necessarily within the river system, so how are you going to cure that by fixing dams on the river?”
Van Pevenage said CGI supports maintaining a healthy salmon population, but removing the dams is not the correct course of action.
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