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SJM 103: Dam Memorial – 2021

Summary: SJM 103 opposes the idea of breaching dams in the Columbia and Snake River systems.

ICL's position: Oppose

Current Bill Status: Passed

Issue Areas: Clean Energy, Salmon and Steelhead, Snake River, Transportation

Official Legislative Site

Senate Joint Memorial 103, introduced by Rep. Regina Bayer (R-Meridian), expresses opposition to the idea of breaching dams in the Columbia and Snake River systems. The memorial promotes federal hydroelectric dams at the expense of wild salmon and steelhead using inaccurate information about both the lower Snake River dams and Governor Little’s Salmon Workgroup. 

Many of the arguments made by the memorial are misleading and factually inaccurate. SJM 103 claims the lower Snake River dams provide flood control and produce “thousands of megawatts” of electricity. In reality, the lower Snake River dams do not provide flood control nor store water for irrigation.  Additionally, the four lower dams combined produce less than 1,000 megawatts a year (about 4% of the region’s total energy production) and mostly only in the spring, when electricity demand is lower. By including inaccurate, false, and misleading information, the resolution disregards the values and interests of Idahoans who support restoration or depend on these iconic fish.

The good news is there’s an alternative and we encourage you to learn more about the comprehensive proposal that U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson (R-ID) has laid out. While still just a framework, the proposal charts a path to the future by modernizing our energy grid (let’s not be Texas!), overhauling our transportation system and irrigation, investing in clean water, and restoring the lower Snake River to save Idaho’s salmon and steelhead. Learn more and take action!