[env-trinity] Redding.com opinion: Glen Spain- Klamath River dam removal makes sense

Tom Stokely tstokely at att.net
Tue May 7 09:18:20 PDT 2013

As always, there are several online comments if you go to the url.

Glen Spain: Klamath River dam removal makes sense
Posted May 5, 2013 at midnight
Klamath River dam removal makes sense

The April 21 letters from Frank Galusha (“Repeating big lies about Klamath dams”) and Ron Burch (“Siskiyou residents want dams to stay”) criticizing the prior Op-Ed by Curtis Knight (“False facts offer only misery to Klamath Basin”) are so outrageous that they both deserve separate responses.

First, Frank Galusha cites multiple nonfactual, but nonetheless common, myths about the supposed “disasters” Klamath dam removal would cause, all of which have been investigated — and thoroughly punctured — in more than 50 special scientific and engineering studies, all summarized in more than 9,000 pages of final environmental impact statement, with all their findings independently peer-reviewed not once, but three separate times.

The science confirms that Klamath dam removal poses no special problems, no significant flood risks, no toxic sediment risks, and will have zero impact on irrigation. Most released sediments are expected to quickly wash out to sea the first winter, with some (but not major) short-term impacts on fish.

Under the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, ratepayer costs for dam removal are capped at what they are already paying (about $1.87 per month for the average residence). Under Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relicensing, however, Siskiyou County power rates would have to increase by at least double that amount, and yet the dams would then produce 26 percent less power. Paying that much more for less power makes no economic sense. This is why the public utilities commissions of both California and Oregon have verified that dam removal under the KHSA is far less expensive for power customers than FERC relicensing.

Look it up! All the facts are there at www.klamathrestoration.gov. The California PUC May 6, 2011, Final Order is in Docket No. A10-03-015 at www.cpuc.ca.gov.

As to Ron Burch’s badly mistaken belief that the voters of Siskiyou County have any legal right to force the company to keep dams it no longer wants or needs, they can no more do so than they can legally vote to prohibit Mr. Burch from selling his car or house. The U.S. Constitution protects everyone’s right to dispose of their own private property however they see fit. Trying to use the power of government to destroy the company’s private property rights is the worst form of state socialism. It has no place in our legal system.
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