May 11, 2022
Rogue Climate Statement Supporting Removal of the
Lower Snake River Dams
Rogue Climate’s mission is to empower Southern Oregon and South Coast communities most impacted by climate change, including low-income, rural, youth, seniors, and communities of color, to win climate justice by organizing for clean energy, sustainable jobs, and a healthy environment.
In order to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change on the communities that will be hit hardest, Rogue Climate believes that communities must lead in order to move forward a just transition to renewable energy, while also undoing the historic harm of our energy system. Through statewide collaborative efforts and grassroots organizing in Southern Oregon and the South Coast, Rogue Climate advocates for accessible, affordable, clean, and democratically managed energy while also supporting the development of good-paying jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Rogue Climate enthusiastically supports the removal of the four dams on the lower Snake River. The impact these dams are having on the salmon population and Tribal Nations is far too great. The Nez Perce Tribe has been fighting to remove the dams for decades as it impacts their communities, food and cultural resources, and water directly. Additionally, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI), which represents 57 Northwest Tribal Governments from Oregon, Idaho, Washington, southeast Alaska, Northern California and Western Montana, released a resolution supporting lower Snake River dam removal. Rogue Climate supports numerous Tribal Nations’ calls to remove the lower Snake River Dams, as we have continuously stood with the Tribal-led efforts for Klamath Dam removal.
Currently, the Pacific Northwest salmon and the southern resident orcas are threatened with extinction if the dams remain. Removing the dams on the lower Snake River would cool water temperatures, allowing struggling salmon species to migrate safely through the lower Snake River, which is critical for both ecosystem health and the cultures of many Tribes in the region.
Clean energy technologies exist that can replace the energy output of the dams, without endangering our climate by furthering dependence on fossil fuels. A recent study by The Northwest Energy Coalition found that replacing the dams has continued to become even more feasible and affordable today as the costs of replacement resources (wind, solar, storage) have fallen significantly and are forecast to continue to decline. We see the removal of these dams as an opportunity for new investments that create more economic drivers for a sustainable rural economy, while also restoring salmon runs, revitalizing river and marine ecosystems, and addressing Tribal rights.
In short, we must remove the dams on the lower Snake River and replace the output from the dams with affordable clean energy and energy efficiency to correct the historical and active harm done to Tribal Nations and the environment by these dams.
Rogue Climate looks forward to the day when the dams on the lower Snake River are removed, just as the dams on the Klamath River will be soon.
Alessandra de la Torre, Advocacy and Programs Director
Allie Rosenbluth, Campaigns Director