American Rivers
American Rivers

Restore the Snake River with Native-led Clean Energy Initiatives

Snake River | Photo by Paul Wilson

Salmon in the Columbia-Snake River basin are on the brink of extinction in large part due to four dams on the lower Snake in eastern Washington. Restoring salmon runs and honoring treaties and responsibilities with Tribal Nations across the region requires removal of these four dams. Momentum and support for this river restoration effort is growing, but it is critical that the hydropower, transportation, and irrigation services of the dams are replaced before dam removal can begin.

Nimiipuu Energy, a project led by the Nez Perce Tribe, is leading the way in developing alternative energy resources to replace the power generated by the lower four Snake River dams. Nimiipuu Energy is a Tribe-to-Tribe Utility Cooperative built with a singular focus; to collaborate with regional tribes utilizing advancements in alternative energy technologies and software in order to generate the required energy necessary to render the four Lower Snake River dams obsolete.

To accommodate these and other new sources of alternative energy, we need the Bonneville Power Administration and the Department of Energy to invest in grid infrastructure and battery storage technologies that will carry the Pacific Northwest into the next century. The old way of dams and coal-fired powerplants is no longer working for a region that takes great pride and economic benefit from abundant fish and wildlife, clean water and air, and natural beauty. We must replace the power generation provided by the Snake River dams before they can be removed.

Please join us in urging Secretary of Energy Granholm, Council on Environmental Quality Chair Mallory, and Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to prioritize investments in grid modernization and battery storage technologies so that we can soon remove the lower four Snake River dams.

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