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.

Reed Burkholder

Boise, Idaho

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