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Idaho Senate Joint Memorial 103 opposes breaching the Snake River Dams

A new Senate Joint Memorial has been introduced by several lawmakers to oppose breaching the Snake River dams. One of Mountain States Policy Center’s top recommendations for lawmakers this session is to oppose any breaching of the Snake River dams or efforts to reduce operational effectiveness.

“This Joint Memorial states that the Idaho Legislature recognizes and supports the international competitiveness, multimodal transportation, and economic development benefits provided by the Port of Lewiston and the Columbia-Snake River System. Idaho has sovereignty of its water resources and benefits from the multiuse system that provides transportation of commodities, fish and wildlife habitat, recreation, hydropower, and irrigation. This Memorial also states that Idaho opposes the removal or breaching of the dams on the Columbia-Snake River System and its tributaries.”

The following is from the text of SJM 103:

“…the Legislature of the State of Idaho opposes any actions to degrade the functionality, in whole or in part, to remove or breach any dams on the Columbia-Snake River System or its tributaries, or to take water from the state for anadromous fish enhancement efforts. Such actions would inflict on Idaho citizens a loss in economic and trade opportunities, a loss of recharge waters for the state's aquifers, a loss of navigation and transportation, an increase in electrical rates, a shortfall in power generation, a loss of recreational opportunities, and a threatened quality of life.”

Last year MSPC teamed up with Idaho’s U.S. Senator Risch to discuss the importance of the Snake River dams to our region. We wrote:

“Hydropower is an important source of reliable and clean energy for everyone in the Northwest, especially Idahoans. However, with the recent debate surrounding the Snake River dams concentrated on the benefits for and support in Washington State, we want to emphasize just how significant an effect these dams have on Idaho and why we must continue to protect them.


As a U.S. Senator and the leader of an independent free-market research organization, we are unified in our effort to protect the Snake River dams and maintain their economic and environmental benefits for our region. Beyond us, there is strong, widespread support for the dams, including from Idaho officials and trade groups.

Continuing the theme of support for baseload power sources, another Senate Concurrent Resolution was also introduced supporting nuclear energy. This is from the Statement of Purpose for SCR 113:

“The purpose of this legislation is to state the Idaho Legislature's strong support for the historical, current, and future regional impacts of the Idaho National Laboratory. In addition, the legislature recognizes the newly formed Idaho Advanced Energy Consortium and its potential contributions to clean energy innovation and regional economic development.”

SJM 103 and SCR 113 are currently waiting to be scheduled for public hearings.

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