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State, local Republicans oppose removal of dams

     The Oregon Republican Party is united in opposition to removal of the four PacificCorp-owned hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River.

   The Oregon State Republican Party platform states at 4.3: “We oppose the breaching of dams and support additional storage sufficient to the needs of sound water management, hydroelectric power and environmental policy based on verifiable science.”

   The Klamath County Republican Central Committee resolved that it “does hereby declare its opposition to the removal of the four dams on the Klamath River....”

   Moreover, it resolved to “further direct its chairman and officers to initiate local, state and national efforts to obtain support for the position taken in this resolution....”

   Both the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors and County Republican Central Committee resolved to oppose dam removal.  

   Thirty-four of 36 Republican senators and representatives voted against Senate Bill 76 that directs the Oregon Public Utility Commission to collect a 2 percent surcharge on PacificCorp ratepayers to fund dam removal. That Republican opposition was so strong and well articulated that one House Democrat publicly apologized to the people of the Klamath Basin for voting for the bill.

   A May 2009 telephone poll of randomly   selected Klamath County registered voters commissioned by Klamath County’s delegation to the Oregon Legislature confirmed that 80 percent of the county’s registered Republicans oppose dam removal.

   In fact, 65 percent of all those polled opposed dam removal, including a majority of all parties, all age groups and both sexes. That 65 percent was consistent across the zip codes of Malin, Merrill and Bonanza. Seventy percent of those polled in the Chiloquin zip code opposed dam removal.

   Local and state Republicans strongly oppose the destruction of the dams.   Party leadership has never been and is not now divided on that issue.

   State Sen. Doug Whitsett State Rep. Bill Garrard State Rep. George Gilman  



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              Page Updated: Friday July 31, 2009 07:18 PM  Pacific

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