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Editorial: What will this ‘study’ show?
Albany Democrat Herald February 18, 2010
You up for another example of how public funds are squandered?
The federal Bureau of Reclamation announced last week it had awarded an $843,000 contract under the Recovery Act to the Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina to support “scientific investigations to evaluate the economic potential for advancing fisheries restoration by removing four dams, and whether it is in the public interest to do so.”
They were talking about the four hydroelectric dams operated by Pacific Power on the Klamath River. What do you think that $800,000 worth of economic “research” is going to find?
Assuming that this $800,000 is raised from taxes and not just borrowed from China, do they know in the government how many sales it takes to support the kind of employment that would generate $800,000 in income tax revenue? Do they care?
The political decision to get rid of the dams and hydro power generators has already been made. This study is just a formality. It is money down the drain or, more to the point, into the pockets of some academics and other professionals in North Carolina. They’ll find, you can count on it, that the fisheries benefits will more than compensate for the value lost of demolishing the dams.
Suppose they prove this skeptical assessment wrong. Suppose the report says no, it’s stupid and against the public interest to tear down operating hydro dams, and the government then follows suit and relicenses the dams for another 50 years. If that’s what happens, the editor will eat this editorial and be glad we use nontoxic ink.
Page Updated: Sunday February 21, 2010 03:55 AM Pacific
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