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KBRA -Is benefit worth requirements?

Herald and News letter to editor by Gus deVries, December 5, 2011

Matt Walter's letter on Nov. 20 seemed to demonize Pacific Power as the typical money-grabbing capitalistic pariah. Pacific Power is a utility regulated by the Oregon Public Utilities Commission (OPUC). Power utility companies are restricted to a finite return on investment. Rates are set and based on projected expenses and a reasonable profit by law. In addition, they are by law required to deliver the cheapest power possible.

What Mr. Walter wants is subsidized electric rates paid for by someone else. The KWAPA business plan takes $41 million in taxpayer dollars and will more than likely invest it in the tribal biomass plant as strongly suggested in the KBRA agreement.


The fact is that no matter what you pay for the electricity it has to be delivered by Pacific Power. Delivery charges are going to be regulated by the OPUC and Pacific Power still makes a reasonable profit. That's why they are in business. Maybe KWAPA should invest in Pacific Power; since it's free money, they have nothing to lose but taxpayers' money.

KWAPA and KBPA have admitted that the very best they hope for, as an affordable or stable rate is 1/2 cent below current tariff. So the question to every irrigator has to be: Is a 1/2 cent of possible benefit worth all the requirements, which include but are not limited to: dam removal; KBRA; tribal in-stream claims; tribal land gifts; permanently downsizing irrigated agriculture in both the upper and lower Basin; and a total price tag into the billions of dollars? Remember, there is still no ESA or biological opinion protection, so therefore, no certainty of water availability. Contact Sens. Merkley, Wyden and Rep Walden and tell them the truth. KBPA will be another government program telling you how to run your business.

Gus deVries

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              Page Updated: Wednesday December 07, 2011 04:03 AM  Pacific

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