Columbia Grain International has grown high-quality crops from its network of local farmers to feed the world safely since 1978. CGI and its vast producer base rely on the Columbia Snake River Network, as it is, to making sure people around the world get the nutritious foods they need to feed their families. The North West infrastructure proposal, costing more than $ 30 billion, calls for the removal of four dams on the lower Snake River, which is part of the Columbia River system, which are essential to the functioning of the agricultural industry. This river system is ranked No. 1 in the United States for wheat exports, No. 2 for US corn and soybean exports, and is essential for other West Coast export markets. It generated more than 50 million tonnes of international trade in 2016, at least $ 21 billion in freight value, and 40,000 local jobs depend on this trade.
Columbia Grain International argues that this proposal will adversely affect the 13 barge installations along this river system, endangering the economic viability of at least two of the Portland-based export facilities, which are heavily dependent on barges and have no not the ability to increase rail capacity. As a direct result, the removal of the lower Snake River dams will result in a shift in transportation methods to truck and train. This reduction in barges could more than double rail costs for grain shipments to Portland, particularly during the fall when corn and soybean shipments from the Midwest are also large.
âIf the dams are broken, our farmers will pay more and ultimately earn less,â said Jeff Van Pevenage, president and CEO of Columbia Grain International. âThe Columbia Snake River System has successfully served our communities for over 40 years, providing our regions with clean energy, jobs, efficient transportation, irrigation, flood control, and more. Keeping this region stable and competitive at a time of global economic and social uncertainty is more essential than ever. We are committed to cultivating the continued growth of our farmers and our PNW communities. “
CGI supports maintaining a healthy salmon population, the main driver of the proposal itself, but does not believe that removing the dams is the right step to take as it will have serious adverse effects on the agricultural industry, including an increase in infrastructure costs, transport costs, as well as a huge trade-off in terms of efficiency and capacity.
Several years ago I made a story about a technology that could suck fish into large, treated pipes and push the fish up and overboard.