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No further state action expected

  Garrard says state budget, economy more important

Herald and News by Ty Beaver 8/7/10

     State lawmakers in Oregon and California said they aren’t proponents of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and don’t expect to see their respective legislative bodies act any further on the document.

   Oregon State Rep. Bill Garrard , R - Klama h Falls, said he is opposed to the document but the Oregon Legislature has already voted for legislation allowing Portland based PacifiCorp to charge a surcharge to its customers to pay for Klamath River dam removal.  

   “I still wish both sides would sit down and start talking to each other again, but that’s not going to happen,” he said.

   Oregon lawmakers also are more preoccupied with the state’s budget and economy than dealing with the KBRA any further, Garrard added.

   California State Sen. Sam Aanestad, R-Grass Valley, is opposed to the concept of dam removal, his communications director Bill Bird said.

   “In fact, if he owned PacifiCorp, he’d be inclined to fight the dam removal all the way to the Supreme Court,” Bird said.

   However, Aanestad   acknowledges that PacifiCorp owns the dams and has entered into an agreement it deems in the best interest of the company and its customers, Bird said.

   The state senator is now focused on making sure Siskiyou County, where three of the four dams that could be removed are located, receives the aid it needs to replace the lost tax revenue the dams provide.

   Requests for comment from Oregon state Sen. Doug Whitsett, R-Klamath Falls, and California state Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, were not returned.
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