“Greenwashing” Hydropower

Today the Bend Bulletin ran an opinion piece titled “Removal of unproductive dams best for salmon” from an admitted lobbyist for the hydro power industry. While parts of the article were certainly true, it was a blatant attempt to “greenwash*” hydro power. Yes, ocean conditions are an important factor in anadromous fish declines, but so are dams. Yes, unproductive dams should be removed, but to state that the lower Snake River dams are an essential source of clean energy and not a significant contributor to the decline of Columbia Basin salmon and steelhead is simply a fabrication.

Hydro power is no longer an important source of clean power. Solar and wind can do it far more efficiently, for less money, with a smaller carbon footprint, and do not contribute to the endangerment of migratory fish. The Snake River dams do not have “some of the most advanced fish passage systems in the world”, the science has clearly and repeatedly shown that these dams are significant causes of fish mortality. Federal lawsuits have repeatedly come to the same conclusion, although court orders to improve passage are routinely ignored.

This is the second opinion piece from this lobbyist printed by the Bulletin. He has changed his argument somewhat, but the disinformation is still rampant.

*Greenwashing is disinformation disseminated by an organization so as to present an environmentally responsible public image.

Disinformation is false or misleading information that is spread deliberately to deceive.