Never mind consumers hit with big energy bills or utilities on the edge of bankruptcy — salmon may be the ones most screwed by the power problems afflicting the Western U.S. For example, to avoid buying power from others at super high costs, the Bonneville Power Administration stepped up power production at federal dams last month and in so doing, drained reservoirs of water saved to boost spring river flows along the Columbia River for salmon. BPA officials say they had to take this step to remain economically viable. But enviros disagree and are fearful that low flows in the Columbia and Snake rivers this spring and summer will be lethal for the fish.

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