ARLINGTON, Va. – The Biden administration on Dec. 14 announced a $1 billion plan with environmental groups, four tribal governments and the states of Washington and Oregon meant to address salmon declines in the Columbia and Snake River system. The settlement announcement proposes that the administration help fund and conduct studies on “how the transportation, irrigation, and recreation services provided by the four Lower Snake River dams could be replaced, to help inform Congress should it consider authorizing dam breach in the future.”
The National Grain and Feed Administration (NGFA) issued the following statement:
“The NGFA is opposed to any actions by federal or state governments that could result in breaching the Lower Snake River dams. The economic harm of breaching the dams would ripple throughout the U.S. agricultural value chain by effectively shutting down the world’s third-largest export corridor for grains and oilseeds.
“Barges are the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation for grains and oilseeds with one four-barge tow moving as much grain as 140 rail cars or 538 semi-trucks. Removing the Lower Snake River dams would hurt producers and negatively impact the operations and livelihoods of NGFA members and their employees who have made investment decisions based on the ability to utilize barge transportation. Studies have been completed that show the significant, negative impact that would occur in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to the impact on agriculture in the PNW and throughout much of the western and northern United States, reduced exports could also impact global food security.
“Agricultural stakeholders have been ready and willing to share these insights throughout the mediation process. As major stakeholders in this decision, NGFA members hope the agricultural industry is included in any study that is conducted or proposed as a result of this announcement.”