Letters To The Editor - Snake River dams have little impact on electric bills


Walt Sivley commented regarding the dam-removal-to-help-salmon-runs idea that "One of the consequences of this drastic proposal would be the tripling of my neighbors' electric bills, and mine too" (U-B Feb. 20). I would like to see Mr. Sivley support this statement with lucid, fact-based arguments.

Several realities argue against Mr. Sivley's assertion: Pacific Power, the primary supplier of power to Walla Walla, is an investor-owned utility that owns its own coal-, natural gas-, wind-, and hydro-generating facilities.

The removal of federal dams would not alter its power supply and thus its prices should remain stable. Secondly, the current market price for electricity from the hundreds of grid-connected power plants throughout the West is about three cents per kilowatt hour.

If dams go and the power is replaced by market-priced power, retail prices should remain roughly the same.

I think it would be more accurate to say that removing federal dams in the lower Snake River would have little effect on Walla Walla electric bills.

Reed Burkholder


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