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Paying for folly

Albany Democrat Herald Editorial February 12, 2009

The legislature no doubt will approve a bill, SB 76, authorizing Pacific Power to collect a monthly surcharge of $1.50 from
each customer toward the $180 million cost of eventually tearing down four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River. Not that it will do any good, but hereís a better idea: Amend the bill to charge the dam-removal fee only to those customers that want the dams removed.

At a time when weíre not supposed to burn anything to generate power, and when wind and solar and all the other alternatives donít come close to meeting the demand, it is just plain stupid to tear down hydro dams in the hope that fish runs will once again thrive. (They wonít because of many other factors, mainly the growing population of the Northwest.)

Itís true that the federal relicensing of the dams would cost even more, but only because of various requirements. Making relicensing so onerous is just as bad a policy as taking the dams out.

In either case, struggling consumers in Oregon should not have to pay for something that dumb.
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