Report: Northwest can reduce greenhouse gases, save salmon, create jobs

The Pacific Northwest can reduce greenhouse gases that are warming the Earth while preserving endangered salmon threatened by the changing climate a report released today says.

The report, "Bright Future," says the region will need 6,500 megawatts of new electricity by 2020. The report, sponsored by environmental groups, says energy efficiency and renewable energy sources can meet the need even with the removal of four dams on the lower Snake to save salmon and the retirement of 1,000 megawatts of coal power.

The International Panel on Climate Change recommends a 15 percent cut in greenhouse gases by 2020 and an 80 percent cut by 2050 to stop and begin to reverse the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere it says is causing global warming. That warming already is reducing the effectiveness of the region‚s hydroelectric dams and threatening to make much of its salmon habitat uninhabitable.

The report says that energy efficiency programs along with wind, solar, geothermal and biomass generation plants can meet much of the new growth for the same price as alternatives like natural gas. The energy program will create thousands of jobs and help the economies of both urban and rural Northwest communities, the environmentalists say.

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