The Board of Commissioners of the Grays Harbor Public Utility District (PUD) in Washington, US, has released a statement that throws support behind four hydroelectric dams on Eastern Washington’s Lower Snake River that, in recent years, have been targeted for removal.

On Monday, the board unanimously approved a resolution firmly stating that the “removal of elements of the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS), including the Lower Snake River Dams would negatively impact the Grays Harbor Public Utility District’s responsibility to provide reliable, efficient, clean and affordable power to its customers.”

“Removing the Lower Snake Dams is bad for the county and the region.  Locally they mean efficient energy at an affordable cost and greater energy reliability for Grays Harbor PUD customers,” said PUD Board President Russ Skolrood.  “But to the region, especially Eastern Washington and the Columbia River Gorge, the impacts are even greater.  They impact the lives of thousands of families through irrigation, flood control, navigable waterways and outdoor recreation.”

PUD Board Secretary Dave Timmons says that without the energy generated by the dams, the reliable flow of energy from the FCRPS would be threatened, which was also illustrated by a 2017 report from the Bonneville Power Administration.

“In January of 2017, when thousands of households across the Northwest needed power to stay warm, the output from wind generators varied from 3000 to 74MW.  Those are not numbers you can plan on to reliably power homes and businesses.  At that same time, the Lower Snake Dams were generating nearly 1300MW.  To me that shows that one source can be counted on, the other can’t,” said Timmons.