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Ratepayers Will Pay For Removal Of PacifiCorp's Klamath Basin Dams

A California regulator will allow energy company PacifiCorp to charge ratepayers extra to remove four of its dams in the Klamath River basin.

In the summer, the dams create massive blooms of toxic algae. In the fall, they block migrating salmon from reaching their spawning grounds.

The California utility commission said it could take 30 years to get the dams to comply with environmental regulations.

PacifiCorp said that removing the dams is a cheaper option for its customers and the commission agreed.

Craig Tucker is with the Karuk tribe in Northern California. The tribe relies on the Klamath for salmon and gets its electricity from PacifiCorp.

Craig Tucker: “What we would get if these deals are seen to their end is the cheapest possible power rates and an increase in salmon. “

Utility bills in northern California will go up by a dollar or two a month to help fund the dam removal.

Oregon customers already pay the fee. But the dam removal deal could still fall through. Congress has to approve it before March next year.

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              Page Updated: Sunday May 15, 2011 02:34 AM  Pacific

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