Breach Out of Reach
The Clinton administration has decided it will not recommend that four dams on the lower Snake River in Washington be breached to help salmon recovery. George Frampton, head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, is testifying before Congress today that the feds will watch how other efforts to protect salmon proceed over the next five to 10 years before weighing again the possibility of breaching the dams. Dam advocates such as Sen. Slade Gorton (R-Wash.) have argued that breaching would raise electricity rates in the Northwest and hurt farmers who rely on irrigation and barge transportation. Environmentalists and others, including Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), have said that breaching the dams would be the most scientifically sound and cheapest way to give salmon a fighting chance of survival.