article photo 2

Take Action: Ask Secretary Moniz About Damming Every River

Posted: 05/17/2014
by Thomas O'Keefe


How would it be if there was a dam (or another dam or two) on your favorite river? Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has set an ambitious goal of damming 3 million rivers and streams in order to double our hydropower production by 2030. With over 1700 whitewater runs across the country on the list, there's a good chance that yours is being eyed by hydropower developers. (You can find out whether your river is on the list in a recent report by the Energy Department.
What You Can Do--Speak up for Rivers! 
Secretary Moniz is participating in a live White House video chat hosted by Grist about climate change on Monday, May 19th with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. You can ask him why he wants to dam river river in the U.S. and whether he really thinks it's a good solution for meeting our energy needs and addressing climate change. Submit your question before Monday to the White House Climate Chat through Grist or via Twitter to #WHClimateChat. If you use Twitter to ask your question, be sure to include the hashtag #NoNewDams.
Here are some ideas for Tweets:
Should damming every river be part of an "all of the above" strategy? @ErnestMoniz @ENERGY #WHClimateChat #NoNewDams 
How is hydro clean & sustainable? Dams destroy habitat, dry up rivers and harm water quality. #WHClimatechat #NoNewDams
Why double hydro production by 2030 when it's only possible if environmental protections are eliminated? #WHClimateChat #NoNewDams    
And here are some points to consider in your question: 
- Hydropower is not "clean" or "sustainable," as the Energy Secretary has claimed. [] Dams destroy habitat for many species, dewater rivers and impair water quality;
- We've invested millions of dollars removing outdated dams and restoring rivers and meeting this goal would mean building dams on these very same rivers;
- If hydropower is going to be part of our energy future, there are ways to increase production without damming another single river. We can improve efficiency at existing hydro dams, and according to an Energy Department report from 2012, can add 12 GW by retrofitting existing non-power dams;
- Damming just about every river would require repealing important clean water and endangered species protections. It would also mean pushing forward whether or not it makes sense for water supplies or economics; 
- Secretary Moniz's bases his goal off of a report called "New Stream-reach Development: A Comprehensive Assessment of Hydropower Energy Potential in the United States." The Secretary's goal does not match with the report. While he encourages hydropower developers to get to work, the report clearly acknowledges that not every project is feasible or practical.
Help spread the word! Tell you friends to submit a question too.
For more information, visit American Whitewater's web-post from May 5th, 2014 about the report. []
Thomas O'Keefe
3537 NE 87th St.
Seattle, WA 98115
Phone: 425-417-9012