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Removing Klamath dams doesn’t make any sense

Herald and News Letter to the Editor March 31, 2009 by Bernie Agrons, Klamath Falls

I believe that natural resource policies should result in the greatest good to the greatest number in the long run. The proposed removal of Klamath River dams fails that test. Benefit to salmon fishers would result in increased electricity costs to thousands of PP&L ratepayers.

Salmon fisherman are hardy people engaged in a dangerous business. It is expensive to run and maintain their boats. Though there are plenty of fish in the sea, salmon fetch the best price and they live and die by the salmon harvest.

When preservationists succeeded in destroying the lumber industry by locking up the federal timber supply, our loggers and lumberman — also hardy outdoors men engaged in a dangerous business — got on with their lives and the affected communities took an enormous financial beating and struggled to survive. The public interest was ill served.

I admire the salmon fishers, but their contribution to the broad public interest does not justify increasing the cost of electricity to individuals and businesses that are major engines of our economic well being. I am not convinced that it would result in the greatest good to the greatest number in the long run.

It does not make economic, social, or political sense to increase the cost of power to the general public to benefit a small number of people in a declining business.


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