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Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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September 3, 2011

 

The Public Advisor

California PUC

505 Van Ness Ave. San Francisco, CA 94102

 

RE: Requests for Rate Increases Pacific Power

 

I am very alarmed at the numerous requests for successive rate increases being requested by Pacific Power this year. There has been an increase request for alternative energy in Grass Valley, a general increase of about 12%, one for solar, a catastrophic one for 1.8%, one for dam removal and now one for another 10.1%.

 

The people of Siskiyou County are in no shape to handle such increases. The demographics of the county are aging and we are poor. Rural populations are notoriously older and much poorer than the rest of the country. For instance, most of my communities have a senior population of at least 30%. By 2020, that is expected to increase another 10% and continue increasing until 2030. From the year 2000-2030, it is expected that the population over the age of 85 in northern CA will increase 150%.

Unemployment is currently around 18.5%. The poverty rate is about 16% for all populations and 25% for children under the age of 18. Several farming communities had higher poverty rates: 26% in Fort Jones (Scott Valley); and 24.2% in Montague (Shasta Valley.) Median Household Income is around $ 36,823 (compared to $61,000 for California.) According to the 2007 California County Data Book, Siskiyou County was dead last in all California Counties in family economic well-being, having the lowest median income at that time of $30,356, compared to $112,155 for San Mateo County and $56,332 for California as a whole.) 65% of households with children ages 0-17 are low income, compared with a California average of 43%. This report notes that 27% of Siskiyou Countyís children live in official poverty, compared to 19% for the state. Children also have less of a tolerance for extremes in cold and heat and are among the most vulnerable due to their high poverty levels.  [20 years of trend data can be found here: http://users.sisqtel.net/armstrng/regulatory%20impacts.htm ]

 

Siskiyou County is subject to temperature extremes of as much as 110 degrees F and -27 degrees F. Snowfall can be several feet high. Elevation of populated areas can be as high as 4,000 feet.

 

Please take this into consideration in your advocacy for us. This could be a potentially life-threatening increase.

Thank you,

 

Marcia H. Armstrong

District 5 Supervisor

Siskiyou County

P.O. Box 750

Yreka, CA 96097

marmstrong@co.siskiyou.ca.us

 

 
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