Our Klamath Basin
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
farmers favor Klamath deal
Beatty, OR, Capital Press letter 2/12/09
A comment on
Mitch Lies' article on the Senate Bill 76 hearing: I wish you
would qualify the statement that farmers have signed on to the
plan. A large number have not. I appreciate your mentioning the
1,850 individuals who signed petitions against the whole plan.
Best-case scenario for dam removal is approximately set at $180
million. That is apparently where PacifiCorp gets the $1.50 per
month increase in household power cost. FERC's own worst-case
scenario for dam removal cost is set at $4.5 billion. The true
number is somewhere in between these numbers. Simply averaging
these two numbers puts it at well over $2 billion.
Fish ladders and other improvements are starting to look a lot
better. What does that do to the average household rate
increase? The difference is that FERC's number takes into
consideration the sediment issue. There are already studies
published that prove toxic sediment is behind at least three of
the four dams. This cannot continue to be ignored. The agreement
in principle refused to address this important issue. There is a
cap stated in the legislation, but the AIP states that if dam
removal costs exceed projected costs, parties have to go back to
the table and decide who is going to pay the cost override, and
this could even happen after dam removal has already begun!
Frustration was apparent with one of the senators in the SB76
hearing, when he asked Michael Carrier from the governors office
four times to explain the conflict between the two documents in
regard to the supposed "cap." The question kept getting
unanswered. This information is found in the AIP Sec. VI Page 9,
Facility Removal Cost. The 2 percent maximum rate increase is
very misleading. The SB76 page 4 states "the total amount
collected in a calendar year under both surcharges may not
exceed more than 2 percent of PacifiCorp's annual revenue
requirement ...." This does not necessarily mean a maximum of 2
percent increase in your monthly bill, especially when you have
to again consider green power replacement costs and addressing
toxic sediment issues.
If dam removal does not occur or if there is money left over
after dam removal you have said repeatedly that "the money would
be refunded to the rate payers." That is only one of the options
available. One of the other options is "or otherwise use these
amounts for the benefit of customers." That could very easily be
interpreted to be used for the re-licensing process or any other
number of legal or other costs incurred by PacifiCorp during
this whole process.
The project irrigators also say they are giving up water in this
whole process. The case can be made showing they would actually
have more water available considering the expansion of the
refuge water right, eliminating return flows into Klamath River
and receiving an additional 10,000 acre-feet of water in a
drought year through the KBRA.
Thanks for continually presenting the many different sides to
this highly complex issue.
Tom Mallams, Beatty, Ore.
Thursday May 07, 2009 09:15 AM Pacific
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