Snake River Dams provide outstanding value to the Nation
Statement by Lt. Col. Tim Vail
Commander of the USACE Walla Walla District
WALLA WALLA Washington – We’ve heard a lot of discussion about the Corps’ four dams on the lower Snake River. I’d like to take a few minutes and tell you why they provide outstanding value to the Nation.
The four lower Snake River dams provide a great return on investment. These dams cost $62 million per year to operate, an investment that generates more than $200 million per year of clean, renewable electricity, enough to power 675,000 residences. This investment also provides a marine transportation corridor that helps move 3.5 million tons of cargo, worth $1.5 billion a year, to regional markets, which improves the region's economic competitiveness. And this investment provides recreation facilities that host 2.8 million visitors per year. These four dams also benefit the environment by allowing us to avoid the 7,300 kilotons of carbon dioxide pollution that a coal-fired power plant would emit to generate the same amount of electrical power.