The lower Snake River dams— a critical component of the Federal Columbia River Power System—play an essential role in keeping the lights on for millions of consumers in the Northwest.

The dams helped prevent blackouts during extreme weather events, like last year’s Willamette Valley ice storms and the Northwest heat dome. The dams consistently provide electricity year-round while Texas and California struggle to meet peak energy demands.

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Dave Markham is president and CEO of Central Electric Cooperative.

(1) comment


I’m sorry, but when I look at your title, your argument on keeping hydro power in place loses a lot of steam for me. As a country that used to be the undisputed top dog, we need to show the world how to protect our natural resources AND the environment, if future generations stand a chance. Adding ongoing drought to the mix tells me hydro power may not be so dependable at some point in the future. We need to get away from coal, hydro and nat gas generated power. To me, nuclear is the way forward. We’ve learned a lot from the past, and have different & better technology than we did in the 70’s. Companies like TerraPower have intrigued me for some time, and I wouldn’t put a big question mark as to how dependable such power generation may be.

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