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California commission recommends ripping out Klamath Dams

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- California Energy Commission analysts urged Oregon, California and Washington to deny any requests from PacifiCorp to increase electricity rates to help pay for upgrading Klamath dams.

A Monday letter signed by California Energy Commission executive director B.B. Blevins asks the public utility commissions in each of the three states to authorize cost recovery only for decommissioning the four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River. Indian tribes, fishermen and conservation groups want the dams removed to open up spawning habitat for struggling salmon runs.

"The Energy Commission has a responsibility not only to provide reliable energy supplies, but to provide for the environment," said Chris Tooker, an energy policy analyst for the California Energy Commission. "It takes that balancing mandate seriously. The whole reason we are involved in the Klamath issue is to help educate the participants."

PacifiCorp is seeking a new license to operate the J.C. Boyle, Copco 1, Copco 2 and Iron Gate dams on the Klamath for the next 30 to 50 years. Though the dams only produce enough power for 70,000 households, PacifiCorp says it's power that does not emit greenhouse gases.

The utility has said it would be willing to spend $300 million on fish ladders and other improvements to meet a federal mandate to provide salmon a way to reach hundreds of miles of spawning habitat blocked for the past century. It has also said it would be willing to remove the dams if their ratepayers don't have to pay for it.

The Oregon Public Utility Commission does not currently have a request before it from PacifiCorp to recover those costs, said spokesman Bob Valdez.

PacifiCorp spokeswoman Jan Mitchell said the letter appeared to be a rehash of an earlier analysis commissioned by the California Energy Commission, which a consultant to PacifiCorp found to contain errors and mistaken assumptions.

Based on studies done for the California Energy Commission, removing the dams would cost $38 million to $71 million, and 30 years of replacement power would cost $58 million to $153 million, Blevins wrote. That works out to an economic benefit to PacifiCorp ratepayers for removing the dams of $32 million to $286 million.

Blevins discounted PacifiCorp's argument that it wants to keep the dams because, unlike coal-fired plants, they do not produce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.

He noted that the dams generate only 1 percent of PacifiCorp's power and replacing them with a wind farm or natural gas plant would cost about the same as upgrading the dams.


COMMENTS on http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1918219/posts#comment

TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: California; US: Oregon
KEYWORDS: dams; klamath; pacificorp

1 posted on 10/29/2007 8:33:10 PM PDT by BurbankKarl

To: BurbankKarl
Neither the ranchers nor the farmers who rely on Klamath Falls water is mentioned in this article.
2 posted on 10/29/2007 8:36:10 PM PDT by Zuben Elgenubi

To: BurbankKarl
Tear them down. California doesn’t need electricity.
3 posted on 10/29/2007 8:36:23 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler ("A person's a person no matter how small." -Dr. Seuss)

To: Zuben Elgenubi
Chris Tooker, zoology major, and one of Gray-out Davis’ flunkies.
4 posted on 10/29/2007 8:38:32 PM PDT by BurbankKarl

To: Jeff Chandler
Its all a plan, create artificialy shortages, raising kw/h pricing, and raising taxes based on the pricing.

It is like the baseline pricing....how to pass an illegal rate increase without anyone noticing.

5 posted on 10/29/2007 8:40:01 PM PDT by BurbankKarl

To: B4Ranch; ElkGroveDan; hedgetrimmer; Iconoclast2; Jeff Head; marsh2; sergeantdave; tubebender; ...
Klamath ping.
6 posted on 10/29/2007 8:40:55 PM PDT by calcowgirl ("Liberalism is just Communism sold by the drink." P. J. O'Rourke)

To: Zuben Elgenubi
They have been pointedly trying to run those farmers and ranchers off the land since well before the 2001 crisis. They are coming at it from every angle possible and continue to show their abject intent IMHO.

How rural western farmers stood up to entrneched environmentalists and agencies of the Federal government and prevailed

7 posted on 10/29/2007 8:43:06 PM PDT by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))

To: BurbankKarl
So their solution to rolling blackouts and high electricity prices is more of the same obstructionism toward the industry. That makes a hell of a lot of sense. If these greenies want to go live in the sticks like Ted Kazinsky, who the hell is stopping them? Don’t drag us along on the ride to hell.
8 posted on 10/29/2007 8:43:13 PM PDT by Excuse_My_Bellicosity (Oh, the huge manatee!!!)

To: BurbankKarl
Explosives engineers will blow up portions of 50-year-old levees above Upper Klamath Lake on Tuesday, hammering a swift river into a slow marshland for the benefit of a fish whose survival in part once halted irrigation to downstream farms.

The federally protected sucker depends on such wetlands, and the action represents a replumbing of a key section of the embattled federal water project in the agriculture-intense Klamath Basin.

“It’s a large, complicated project with extremely high expectations,” said Curt Mullis, field supervisor with the Klamath Falls office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “We’re hopeful and optimistic.”

The levees were built in the 1950s to convert rich bottomland soils into farmland and to channel the Williamson River directly into the Upper Klamath Lake. For half a century, farmers grew crops such as wheat, barley and alfalfa on great swaths of the drained land.

The levees’ destruction will come after 12 years of negotiations between interests that often have been at odds, including The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the Klamath Tribes and the electric utility PacifiCorp, which operates dams on the Klamath River.


9 posted on 10/29/2007 8:45:26 PM PDT by george76 (Ward Churchill : Fake Indian, Fake Scholarship, and Fake Art)

To: BurbankKarl
A snapshot into the future of wind power.

We ain’t going to get to use it.

10 posted on 10/29/2007 8:50:06 PM PDT by Balding_Eagle (If America falls, darkness will cover the face of the earth for a thousand years.)

To: BurbankKarl
Better watch it. That's close to hate speech, associating zoologists with Gray Davis.

B.S. Zoology, '77

11 posted on 10/29/2007 8:50:13 PM PDT by VanShuyten ("Believe me or not, his intelligence was perfectly clear...But his soul was mad.")

To: george76
And people wonder why its cheaper to get grain from China
12 posted on 10/29/2007 8:51:28 PM PDT by BurbankKarl

To: Zuben Elgenubi
THAT is THE issue.

Envirofascist sleight of hand.

13 posted on 10/29/2007 8:52:40 PM PDT by dadgum

To: Jeff Chandler
“Tear them down. California doesn’t need electricity.”

Kill the salmon!

14 posted on 10/29/2007 8:55:23 PM PDT by dalereed

To: BurbankKarl
"The Energy Commission has a responsibility not only to provide reliable energy supplies, but to provide for the environment," said Chris Tooker, an energy policy analyst for the California Energy Commission. "It takes that balancing mandate seriously. The whole reason we are involved in the Klamath issue is to help educate the participants."

No, Mr. Tooker, it's your job to make sure Californians have sufficient supply of electricity for their needs. It's the job of the California Fish and Wildlife Department to deal with issues related to environmental effects on wildlife. Just because you're a frustrated zoology major doesn't give you the right to abuse your authority!

15 posted on 10/29/2007 8:57:11 PM PDT by Tamar1973 (Riding the Korean Wave, one BYJ movie at a time! (http://www.byj.co.kr))

To: Zuben Elgenubi
Exactly right!

...and they only power 77,000 homes with those dams, nothing much to worry about losing.

Sorry but the dam removal plan sounds idiotic to me.

These are the same assbites that will cheer every time alternative energy sources power one extra home, but they’ll gladly sign onto this plan.

These folks should be on medication for skitzophrenia.

16 posted on 10/29/2007 9:01:36 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (We yen to be numba one. We find Crintons to be vewy good people. Worth every penny.)

To: calcowgirl
Thanks for the ping.
17 posted on 10/29/2007 9:04:56 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (We yen to be numba one. We find Crintons to be vewy good people. Worth every penny.)

To: BurbankKarl
This case should prove instructive.
18 posted on 10/29/2007 9:05:34 PM PDT by gitmo (From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.)

To: Jeff Chandler
Agreed. Electricity is overrated.
19 posted on 10/29/2007 9:08:04 PM PDT by americanophile

To: Jeff Chandler
You are the one whom holds the key. Screw it all. Blow it up tomorrow. I say do it and wake up this country. Sheesh!
20 posted on 10/29/2007 9:08:32 PM PDT by eyedigress

To: BurbankKarl
more lunatic fringe environmental wackery.

We need power, and we need water. But who is stupid enough to give up those necessities in favor of a fish?

21 posted on 10/29/2007 9:12:26 PM PDT by o_zarkman44 (No Bull in 08!)

To: calcowgirl
Thanks for the ping.

I will not comment because this is supposedly a family forum and I am not feeling very polite.

22 posted on 10/29/2007 9:12:47 PM PDT by B4Ranch (( "Freedom is not free, but don't worry the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share." ))

To: o_zarkman44
I’m surprised the Sierra Club isn’t behind this. Oh I forgot they are more interested in not doing control burns in California because they are tree huggers but when the trees burn anyway they want federal $$$$ and blame the govt. for not rescuing them.
23 posted on 10/29/2007 9:15:48 PM PDT by Blue Highway

To: B4Ranch
You seem to be near my thinking. (I hope not to insult but I was a kinda regular at the Station House)
24 posted on 10/29/2007 9:18:16 PM PDT by eyedigress

To: Blue Highway
the only way we are going to stop this environmental wackery is to get right in their face and start saying NO!!
And say NO to their judges who empower them.
And say NO to the politicians who pander to them.
25 posted on 10/29/2007 9:19:33 PM PDT by o_zarkman44 (No Bull in 08!)

To: BurbankKarl
This is the master plan:

As a environmentalist...you want people to volunteer to give up their wasteful amount of electricity. If they won’t volunteer...you rig the poker game to go against the consumer. You start with taxes and fees...increasing the cost, hoping that this will be enough. Eventually, as dim as you are about economic matters, you the environmentalist find that higher costs won’t work. So then you slide into carbon fees or carbon credits...which work in the same manner...additional higher costs. The consumer doesn’t care. He simply pays more. So then you start looking for ways to stall electrical manufacturing. You deny new coal-fired plants and nuclear powered plants. When someone talks of a hydroelectric project...you deny them because that takes precious farm land. So as new projects fall to the side...the old plants come up for discussion. You deny them a chance to upgrade or repair...so eventually they will become issues and have to be torn down...leaving a gap in the grid.

The plan, you see....is very simple. It may take me 40 years to accomplish...but eventually...you will be forced to limit your consumption of power. I’ll decide your consumption level for you. I’ll do this because I’m more “wise” than you on the environment and electrical needs.

Of course, there is always the possibility that some country....like Canada or Mexico could ruin this plan...by manufacturing a dozen nuclear power plants or 40 coal-fired plants, and offer to sell you your necessary power...at twice or three times the current rate. They might laugh all the way to the bank as they take your cash.

26 posted on 10/29/2007 9:19:41 PM PDT by pepsionice

To: o_zarkman44
amen to that o_zarkman
27 posted on 10/29/2007 9:21:02 PM PDT by Blue Highway

To: Jeff Chandler
We need to cut California off the grid and let them do what they want IN CALIFORNIA without sucking everyone else’s energy up and causing inflated prices when they refuse to make enough for themselves.
28 posted on 10/29/2007 9:23:44 PM PDT by Colorado Doug (Now I know how the Indians felt to be sold out for a few beads and trinkets)

To: BurbankKarl
improvements to meet a federal mandate to provide salmon a way to reach hundreds of miles of spawning habitat blocked for the past century.

The salmon have co-existed with the dams for a hundred years but now all of a sudden they can't. Smells like BS to me.

29 posted on 10/29/2007 9:27:22 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard

To: Zuben Elgenubi
Neither the ranchers nor the farmers who rely on Klamath Falls water is mentioned in this article.

I noticed that.

30 posted on 10/29/2007 9:27:44 PM PDT by c-b 1 (Reporting from behind enemy lines, in occupied AZTLAN.)

To: BurbankKarl; fish hawk
These dams have been in place far far longer then the decline of fish numbers...
31 posted on 10/29/2007 9:39:07 PM PDT by tubebender (My weight is perfect for my height... which varies...)

To: hinckley buzzard
I thought the whole water management issue revolved around the Klamath Sucker Fish.

Now it’s salmon?

I guess the suckers must be thriving at a consternating level at this time.

32 posted on 10/29/2007 9:40:16 PM PDT by dadgum

To: Jeff Head
Wussup here, Jeff. I smelled salmon even before I clicked on this.
33 posted on 10/29/2007 9:45:31 PM PDT by Eastbound


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