[env-trinity] Redding.com blog: Will state ax funding for Klamath Dam removal?

Tom Stokely tstokely at att.net
Tue Jul 9 14:10:09 PDT 2013


Will state ax funding for Klamath Dam removal?

July 3, 2013 9:11 AM | 2 Comments
Dan Walters of the Bee suggests as much in his update on new legislative "Principles for Developing a Water Bond" that an Assembly committee discussed yesterday.

The Legislature already passed a water bond in 2009, but it's widely seen as too big and bloated with pork --- but for good or ill that was the source of the state of California's $250 million contribution to removal of the Klamath River dams.

From Walters:

One principle would "prohibit earmarks to specific water projects," which would appear to bar the specific allocations for the two water storage projects that Republicans, backed by farm groups, had insisted on including in the 2009 version, as well as some of the local projects that were placed in the bond for political purposes.
The latter included removal of two power dams on the Klamath River and a parks project in the district of Rep. Karen Bass, who was speaker of the Assembly when the bond was being written.

Arguably removing dams isn't a water project, and proponents would certainly argue that dam removal promotes one key goal in the principles: "Restore the health of California's watersheds, to protect our important coastal and inland waterways, especially for salmon that depend on both."

Still, if earmarks are nixed and the money must compete for grants along with every other demand for water money, you have to wonder whether it would make the cut.

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Comments (2)
Jul 3, 2013 
5:03 PM
 TCWriter writes:
At Senator Wyden's recent hearings on the Klamath Basin agreements, Laird committed California to making good on its Klamath agreements, bond or not.

I don't know exactly what he was suggesting in terms of a funding source (there's a subtext to some of this testimony that isn't always clear), but he was adamant it would happen -- especially as the signers of the Klamath Agreements promised to shave the cost of the agreements as much as possible.

Jul 4, 2013 
11:01 AM
 unofelice writes:
The Klamath dam deal is all about allowing the owner - PacifiCorp to walk away from dam removal and all liability associated with 100 year old dams and powerhouses. The federal government would likely become the "dam removal entity."

That would seem to conflict with one of the other "Water Bond Principles" -

"Require beneficiaries to pay for their benefits, while the public pays for public benefits."

The core idea of the KHSA Dam Deal is to transfer private liability to the public. The governor and his people are committed to getting that done and will likely find a way to sell corporate welfare as salmon restoration IF the KHSA is approved by Congress.

- See more at: http://blogs.redding.com/bross/archives/2013/07/will-state-ax-f.html#sthash.crENkC3R.dpuf
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