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Legislature Considers Funding For Klamath Dam Removal

Backers of a plan to fund removal of dams along the Klamath River say they’re gaining ground in the Oregon Legislature.

A House committee held a hearing on the plan Thursday, which first passed the Senate in February.

The measure would allow dam-owner PacifiCorp to put a surcharge on electric bills to pay for removing the dams.

James Honey of the conservation group Sustainable Northwest says taking the dams out would be cheaper than upgrading them to meet new federal standards:

James Honey:  “If you simply, fundamentally, and ideologically don’t believe in dam removal, it’s still the case that there is no no-action alternative here.  No matter what happens, these dams will incur costs.  This seems to be the least-cost alternative.”

Opponents of the plan say Oregon could be stuck with a much higher bill if removing the dams turns out to be more expensive than predicted.

The state of California may contribute to the cost, but lawmakers in Sacramento there haven’t acted yet on a $250 million bond package.


Oregon Senate Bill 76

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