Klamath water settlement Power lawsuit resurrected
A group of irrigators resurrected a lawsuit filed against PacifiCorp for terminating a 50 -year old power agreement.
Klamath Off-Project Water Users said Thursday that off-Project irrigators had suspended the lawsuit, which seeks $86 million in damages, until the release of the proposed Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement.
T he agreement was released Jan. 15, and the group says it isn’t viable.
“ There are no assurances that any power rate will ever be funded under the settlement agreement, and even if a power rate were to be funded, we do not believe the funds would achieve anywhere near the projected goal,” said group president Edward Bartell in a press release.
Off-Project irrigators originally received Pacifi-Corp power under the 1956 “Off-Project Agreement” for a fixed rate. PacifiCorp requested and received permission to terminate the contract in April 2006 from the Public Utility Commission of Oregon.
The Portland-based utility company sought termination of the contract so it could raise power rates, the group says, but because the contract had no expiration date, the termination was a breach of contract. The lawsuit was filed in November 2006.
A Thursday evening phone call to Toby Freeman, regional community manager for PacifiCorp, was not returned by press time.