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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.


Editorial: What will this ‘study’ show?

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  1. niilo said on: February 21, 2010, 12:34 am
    We farm in the Klamath Reclamation Project. In 2008 a Siskiyou County Supervisor said he was on the science committee in the closed-door negotiations, and the group disbanded the science considerations. One of their meeting agendas states, "Want to avoid advocating for science instead of using a certain approach." A petition of tribal members, and people from up and down the watershed collected 1800 signatures opposed to the agreement; a Klamath County poll showed less than 10% supported dam removal and the agreement, nearly 3000 petitions opposed taxpayers buying land to give to the Klamath Tribes to be taken off the tax rolls; this is after they previously sold that land. Camp Dresser & McKee report for Interior that concluded the cost would be closer to a billion dollars for the dam removal alone, but that report was withheld from the public until after Oregonians voted on a measure to pay the dam-removal bill. Please know also, our communities asked their leaders if they could vote--we were not allowed a vote. The Klamath Tribes just got into a physical fight since they ousted their leadership and didn't want them to vote on the 'agreement.' The Karuk tribe did not get to vote either. At a public input meeting put on by 3 Oregon reps, 300 came and everyone who spoke and wrote opposed the 'agreements'. Klamath Water Users Association and Klamath County Commissioners boycotted the meeting. The enviros and gov't agencies tactic of divide and conquer is succeeding.
  2. J Lee said on: February 19, 2010, 10:18 am
    Isn't it just amazing that HH would spend so much time finding areas to slam the current administration....while at the same time Salem comes forward with new help for local businesses....with an article in this same daily paper....that HH won't discuss....you betcha! Can't wait for more of the same Palin approach HH!
  3. Nicodemus said on: February 19, 2010, 4:33 am
    The real question should be not the $800-thousand economic study. Rather, our Editor-in-Chief should be examining our Defense Department for fraud, excess, abuse and waste. The DOD gets over $600-BILLION every year. It would seem rather apparent that if our Editorialist would be carefully scrutinizing the various defense contractors who work on building unnecessary and unneeded weapons systems under cost-plus contracts.

    The $800-thousand Dam Economic Study may indeed be useless, but I'd rather give some academics the money than the thieves at Boeing, McDonald-Douglas, Raytheon and GE. These companies have been slurping at the public trough for so long that they are addicted to taxpayer money. Without it, these companies would not survive. In essence, the defense department is a drug dealer of sorts, providing the addicted defense industry with a nearly unlimited supply of cash to feed their habit.

    Or, why isn't our Editor-in-Chief equally incensed at the more than $5-billion the taxpayers hand over each year to corporate farms as a DIRECT subsidy? Why is it that a corporate farm that earns more than $1-million annually is in need of taxpayer assistance.

    I would remind our Editorialist-in-Chief that his anger is misdirected. Eight-hundred-thousand-dollars going to North Carolina professors seems like small change. Then again, our Editor-in-Chief seems to prefer dwelling in the Land of Small Change.
  4. sourkraut said on: February 18, 2010, 6:49 pm
    Actually, this is another example of "I want this so someone else gets to pay for it". Not only will Pacific Power have to replace the electricity, but us rate-payers are paying to tear down those dams. Lucky us.
  5. CharlesLee said on: February 18, 2010, 4:36 pm
    Sounds like a congressional earmark done by a Representative from that state.
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