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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words

September 30, 2009 at 4:00 PM

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Environmentally conscious

Posted by Marisa Willis

Closing coal-fired plants is a must

Thank you to Leeanne Beres and Sara Patton for the guest commentary “It’s time to shut down Northwest coal plants” [Opinion, Sept. 28].

It underscores the urgency to not just stabilize greenhouse-gas emissions, but to make real reductions. Closing all Northwest coal-fired plants is a must.

We now know that the worst-case scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports are being exceeded. All fossil fuels emit greenhouse gasses, but coal is by far the worst. It must be the priority to move beyond coal immediately.

There are plenty of cleaner alternatives available.

— James O. Williams, Seattle

Food for thought on Snake River

It’s hard to realize that people are so nearsighted about the Snake River dams that they place the fish above all else [“A Northwest salmon plan,” Opinion, Sept. 22].

These people should do away with all motorized vehicles, and go back to horse and carriage.

Let’s look at the logistics of a total-dam removal, as I see it: Loss of hydropower, billions of dollars for removal, millions of cubic yards of silt covering the bays, millions of irrigated crop-producing acreage going back to sage brush and scab rock, thousands of crop workers not needed, port facilities abandoned, and lastly parks and boating facilities along the Snake River would be abandoned because the water would be far too low.

The few crop producers left would need to transport everything by truck or rail to the Tri-Cities but if you remember, most rail lines were removed when barge traffic went clear to Lewiston.

Fishing would mostly be from bridges or shores because water current and water depth would make boat fishing allowable in only a limited amount of the free-flowing river in the late fall.

Just some food for thought that to allow a few people to catch a dozen fish or so would increase the cost of imported produce and supplies forever.

— Dave Darlow, Spokane

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