NGFA Opposes Any Efforts to Breach Lower Snake River Dams

According to NGFA, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., released the recommendations of a joint federal-state process that evaluated the feasibility of breaching the Lower Snake River Dams as a way of protecting endangered salmon runs.

The recommendations published on Aug. 25 emphasize that breaching the dams would not be feasible “until the energy and economic benefits of the dams are replaced or mitigated.”

While the report recognized that dam breaching would cause economic harm to several industries, Gov. Inslee said state and federal governments “should implement a plan to replace the benefits of the Lower Snake River Dams to enable breaching to move forward.”

In a statement issued Aug. 26, NGFA maintained that any plan to breach the dams would be unviable and cause unrepairable harm to the U.S. agricultural economy. Read NGFA’s full statement below:

Barge transportation moves about half of all grain exports to export elevators and is critical to NGFA members in the Pacific Northwest. The Columbia-Snake River System is the third-largest grain export corridor in the world, transporting nearly 30 percent of U.S. grain and oilseed exports,” NGFA President and CEO Mike Seyfert said.

Breaching the Lower Snake River Dams in the Pacific Northwest would create severe economic harm to the entire U.S. agricultural value chain. Removing the LSRD will hurt producers and negatively impact the operations and livelihoods of NGFA members who have made investment decisions based on the ability to utilize barge transportation.

"While we appreciate Gov. Inslee and Sen. Murray recognizing the crucial role the LSRD play in the agricultural value chain, we must remain opposed to any actions by federal or state governments that could result in breaching these dams.

"The benefits of barge transportation to the agricultural value chain and the overall U.S. supply chain cannot be replaced by rail or truck transportation. Importantly, barges are the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation for grains and oilseeds with one four-barge tow moving as much grain as 144 rail cars or 538 semi-trucks.”

Advocate: NGFA members can advocate that the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 being negotiated between the House and Senate does not authorize the breaching of these dams by using the NGFA’s advocacy tool. Send a letter to your lawmakers here.

Source: NGFA