Hells Canyon Dam may have seemed like a big power plant and a good idea 50 years ago when its license was granted by FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission). But now power plants inside of buildings smaller than a Wal-Mart can generate more energy than Hells Canyon Dam.
A few days ago I visited such a power plant, a blue building in Boardman, Ore. From the freeway it appeared to be a blue warehouse or a factory. But is wasn't a warehouse of a factory. It was the Coyote Springs Power Generating Facility. I paced off its length and width and compared it to the Wal-Mart building on Overland Road in Boise. It was smaller than Wal-Mart. Perhaps we ought to rethink the re-licensing of Hells Canyon Dam. Society might be better served by removing the dam and reclaiming the many values of a free-flowing river in Hells Canyon. Perhaps our electricity should come from more modern means, such as the jet engine technology inside of the blue building in Boardman.