Hydropower from BPA is not carbon neutral | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

BPA generates its power from multiple dams and is considered “green power.”

However, dams impede salmon migration and population. Salmon are a vital link of the food chain in the fresh and salt waters of earth. WSU recently demonstrated that hydropower is not “carbon neutral.” They found a significant increase in off gassing of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, from dammed reservoirs compared to lakes.

In just two years there are strong signs of salmon recovery in the entire Elwha River basin following the dam reclamation project.

BPA manages dams that are not essential for navigation, flood control or power generation. Some could be breached in order to help restore salmon populations and decrease greenhouse gases. With cleaner local alternatives to power generation, we don’t need hydropower as much as we need salmon and less climate change off gassing.

A sustainable vision is to generate clean local power and not have to rely on a national grid. Citizens can invest in utilities on their homes or businesses and get paid for the energy they produce. A solar utility is on my home. The Harbour Public House has a utility that converts food waste into power. This approach mitigates the problems of both the coal burning power plants and the dams which both impede salmon populations and generate greenhouse gasses.

Real security lies in more local energy independence. Calculating the environmental impacts of our everyday activity is critical. Let us reach for the best solutions. A Bainbridge Island PUD is not a solution.