It turns out that the conflict between hydroelectric dams and salmon (or at least environmentalits who purport to speak for the salmon) is a bit more complicated that what we described in our post What Shall It Be, Clean, Sustainable Power or Lox and Bagels? May 20, 2009. See http://gideonstrumpet.info/?p=233 It turns out that hydroelectric dams are also favored by generators of wind power. The problem with the latter is that sometimes the wind does not blow, or at least it does not blow hard enough to generate enough power to satisfy the needs of the moment. So the wind turbine operators want those dams to stay put and operating, so their output can fill the power needs during the downswings in wind power. They worry that if those dams are breached, as the environmentalists would have it, during lulls in the wind, power consumers may wind up suckin’ wind, if you’ll pardon the pun, and turn to fossil fuel power plants.
And let’s not forget the farmers who are looking kindly on wind turbines erected on their land, that provide them with supplemental income. They want the windmills to operate, and the wind turbine operators can do that on a large scale only if they can rely on hydroelectric power to provide clean energy when the wind isn’t blowing.
Anyway, you can read all about it in Kate Galbraith, Wind, Water and Fish, N.Y. Times, June 12, 2009, at p. B1.