Having spent the majority of my 69 years in rural Oregon, I’ve had the chance to apply common sense to many challenging situations. Webster’s defines common sense as sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts. I do not believe that sound judgment is as common as it used to be. Unfortunately, some state leaders have views not based on the best available science but on political science.
Take Gov. Brown, for example, she supports breaching the four lower Snake River dams and even sued the federal government after a recent scientific study determined that maintaining the dams would be better than removing them. What’s even more frustrating, is the Governor filed her lawsuit just days after she convened a collaborative coalition to find a consensus among river stakeholders about the future management of the dams.
How will we replace the carbon-free energy produced by the dams? What does this do to our carbon footprint as farmers are forced to move from barge to rail and truck to transport goods to export? The lower Snake River dams generate enough energy to power 900,000 Pacific Northwest homes annually while producing zero carbon emissions. As rural electric utility boards grapple with threats of dam removal, common sense again asks — how will we continue to provide reliable and safe power at an affordable price? I hope Gov. Brown considers these questions, drops her lawsuit and recommits to the collaborative process. Rural Oregonians are counting on her!