30 Jan 2009, 9:45pm
Homo sapiens Salmon and other fish
by admin

Ratepayers Forced To Pay For Removal of Klamath Dams

Oregon Senate Bill 76 will be the subject of a Hearing next Tuesday, February 3rd. SB 76 requires that electricity ratepayers in the Klamath Basin bear the costs of dismantling four dams on the Klamath River.

The ratepayers oppose the destruction of the dams, which will cause electricity rates to skyrocket as well as cause massive brownouts in the region due to lack of substitute power. Despite that, ratepayers are being forced to buy the bullets for the firing squad that will shoot them.

Removal of the dams, and the plan to force costs on the ratepayers, are the brainchild of braindead Governor Teddy “The Torch” Taxandgougeme, the worst governor in history [here, here, here, here].

The removal of the dams is ostensibly to improve salmon survival, but instead will have the opposite effect [here]. In any case, those who have promoted the dam removal will NOT be paying for it, nor will they be paying for the exorbitant Enron-style electricity rates that result.

Furthermore, the Enron-style screwing of the residents of the Klamath Basin starts now, if Ted the Goober gets his sick way.

The full text of SB 76 is [here]. The Hearing will be Feb. 3 at 3:00 PM in Room HR C (Environment and Natural Resources Committee). The Committee members are:

Chairman Jackie Dingfelder (D – Portland) 503-986-1723 sen.jackiedingfelder@state.or.us

Senator Jason Atkinson (R –Jackson and Josephine Counties) 503-986-1702 sen.jasonatkinson@state.or.us

Senator Bryan Boquist (R- Central Willamette Valley) 503-896-1712 sen.brianboquist@state.or.us

Senator Mark Haas (D – northern Willamette Valley) 503-986-1714 sen.markhaas@state.or.us

Senator Floyd Prozanski (D- Eugene and Lane county) 503-986-1704 sen.floydprozanski@state.or.us

Note that not a single one represents the affected residents of the Klamath Basin.

An email alert has gone out from concerned citizens:

Every Oregonian concerned about the future of your state should get involved immediately in exposing this sham. This is an attempted takeover by declaration of emergency of the great, affordable, clean and safe source of hydroelectric power and flood control — it intends to remove the dams without further resistance from those most grievously impacted. We need to pack the committee room with people that know how much is at stake!

Senator Doug Whitsett, R- Klamath Falls, District 28 wrote in his E-Newsletter today [here]:

…The bill is alleged to create the funding resources to enable the removal of the four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River. The mechanism would be to create a 2 percent surcharge payable by all Oregon PacifiCorp ratepayers on their monthly bill for the next ten years.

PacifiCorp’s 2007 Oregon revenue was about $929,000,000 collected from about 548,000 Oregon ratepayers. The proposed 2 percent surcharge would generate about $18.6 million annually. This surcharge would appear to generate enough money to pay the $180 million obligated by the Agreement in Principle to be paid for dam removal by Oregon PacifiCorp ratepayers as their “fair share.” However, this amount collected from ten years of surcharge would not appear to be sufficient to pay for all of the costs obligated to the PacifiCorp ratepayers by SB 76 that are associated with the removal of the four dams.

SB 76 Section (3) states that if all recoverable costs specified in the bill have not been recovered by PacifiCorp before a dam is removed, the commission shall allow recovery of those amounts by PacifiCorp in the public utility’s rates and tariffs without an amortization schedule. …

The $180 million from the rate surcharge will not come close to paying for dam removal and associated clean up. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Environmental Impact Statement estimates the costs at $4.5 billion, or nearly $8,000 per ratepayer.

FERC also estimates that ratepayers’ costs for replacement power will be an additional $35 million per year. There are 548,000 electric ratepayers expected to shoulder this burden, most of whom are in Oregon.

More from Senator Doug Whitsett:

The bill [also] allows PacifiCorp to recover about 90 percent of PacifiCorp costs for continued operations of the dams, including the cost of environmental regulation, water quality regulation, and enhanced fish passage from Oregon ratepayers until dam removal is completed. The total amount of these costs appears to be neither estimated nor included in the dam removal surcharge.

The bill [also] allows PacifiCorp to recover about 90 percent of PacifiCorp’s costs for settlement of issues of relicensing or decommissioning the dams that have already been incurred, or that will be incurred, from its Oregon ratepayers. The amount of these charges appears to be neither estimated nor included in the dam removal surcharge. …

In our opinion, SB 76 as currently written appears to establish an open ended financial liability of near biblical proportions for more than half a million Oregon PacifiCorp ratepayers.

The dams should not be removed in the first place. The phony junk science promulgated by USFWS fish biologists in support of dam removal has been repeatedly debunked. Hydro-power is clean and renewable. We are experiencing the worst economic crisis in Oregon and the Nation since the Great Depression.

The Goober is out of his mind. No surprise and nothing new about that.

Please extend your comments to the Oregon Environment and Natural Resources Committee (email and phone numbers above) and/or attend the Hearing next Tuesday. Thank you for your attention to your own (allegedly) democratic state government.

Note: special thanks to Julie Kay Smithson of Property Rights Research [here] for her help in crafting this post.

30 Jan 2009, 9:47pm
by Mike

PS — If you do attend the Hearing you are advised to stay out of the public bathrooms at the Capitol. A lot of weird and perverse sexual activity happens in there. Just ask the Mayor of Portland.

Thank you so much for posting this! We need to have that committee hearing packed like sardines by people who will NEVER be mistaken for suckers!

30 Jan 2009, 11:37pm
by bear bait

Above the ocean outlet of the Klamath River, it is joined by the dribble of water California farmers, swimming pool fillers, and cheap hydropower users allow down the Trinity River. They are disallowed from using more than 65% of the annual flow of the Trinity River, which is the equal in flow and the colder of the two rivers where they join to be the mighty Klamath 42 miles from the ocean. The 35% of the Trinity’s annual flow that must, by law, flow down the stream is released by the Trinity dam in April and May, to assist migrating salmon from the Trinity Salmon Hatchery. Most of the Trinity river water goes through the power house of Trinity dam and is caught by Lewistown dam, and then goes eleven miles through the Clear Creek tunnel to Whiskeytown Reservoir, and through power houses down flumes to the Sacramento River and on to irrigate desert 300 miles to the south. So the Trinity makes a lot of electricity for California, and two third of the water ends up irrigating desert land south of Fresno.

Meanwhile, the other half of the Klamath River has to lose its dams to “save” salmon, and the power lost has to be purchased at ratepayer’s expense. How about just, since the California dams on the Trinity are staying while the Oregon dams are being removed, the lost power should be sold at the California price to the Klamath power users. That would only be fair. And, someone needs to tell me why allowing Trinity River water to leave the watershed is a positive deal, and does not have a great impact on salmon numbers in the Trinity and lower Klamath river, especially in late summer when the Klamath is warm and the Trinity water is cool, and growing cotton instead of keeping salmon safe. Fair? No. Business as usual in California? Yes. Protected by Speaker Pelosi, Congressman Miller, Senator Feinstein? Sure. Is Kulongoski a part of the cabal to screw over Oregon farmers? Certainly. They are not a part of the Metro Majority for Blue Oregon. Equity, fairness, fair play, support for Oregon, none of that plays with this Governor. He is a creep of the first degree and an ambulance chaser turned hearse chaser.



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