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Install fish ladders, no on dam removal

Howard Paine, Klamath Falls, letter to the editor of Herald and News 10/16/16

Several months ago a dam removal funding scheme was cooked-up in secret closed-door meetings that included PacifiCorp, tribes and environmentalists. They decided that Pacific Power customers and taxpayers should pay $550 million for dam removal and assume all liability.

This whole scheme was just an attempt to shift cost from the dams' owner, PacifiCorp, to the public. Billionaire Warren Buffett owns PacifiCorp — they have no money problems. 

These dams should not be removed. They provide clean, cheap, reliable power for 192,000 people. Costly replacement power will hurt all of us. 

When the president of Pacific Power visited Klamath Falls in 2008, he bragged about the clean power these dams produce. He said, “The dams produce enough emission-free energy to offset the emissions of 102,000 cars or burning 1.23 million barrels of oil a year.”  See: Utility hesitant about dams.

The best and cheapest solution is to install fish ladders on the three dams that don’t have them. The J.C. Boyle dam near Keno has a fish ladder. That dam is the newest of the four and it puts out more power than the other three combined.

Removing the Iron Gate Dam would remove the Iron Gate Fish Hatchery which produces 5 million salmon smolts each year — 17,000 of which return annually as full-grown adults to spawn.

Siskiyou County had an 80 percent no vote on dam removal. Let’s do the same in Klamath County. 

A strong no vote will send a message to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that dam removal should not occur.

Howard Paine

Klamath Falls



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