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PacifiCorp surcharge increase approved
by John Bowman, The Daily Independent, Ridgecrest, Calif, 11/1/12
The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on Oct. 25 ruled in favor of PacifiCorp’s request to increase the rate at which they collect Klamath River dam removal surcharges from their customers.
PacifiCorp began applying the first surcharge to customer bills on Jan. 10. The original surcharge was two percent of a customer’s monthly bill and equals about $1.61 per residential customer on average, according to PacifiCorp.
On Jan. 13, PacifiCorp filed a petition to increase the surcharge. They calculate the average increase will be an additional twenty-one cents per residential customer, raising the total to an average of $1.82. PacifiCorp spokesman Bob Gravely said the company began applying the increase to customers’ bills on Monday.
The surcharge is intended to fund PacifiCorp’s share of the cost of dam removal under the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA). According to the agreement, dam removal is scheduled to begin in 2020 but is contingent upon the passage of legislation by Congress to authorize the agreement.
PacifiCorp told the PUC that, due to a delay in the initiation of the original surcharge, the collection of funds was behind schedule and would therefore need to be increased to make up for lost time.
On July 20, Siskiyou County filed a
brief with the PUC objecting to the increase in
surcharge collection. One major objection offered by the
county is based on their belief that congressional
passage of necessary legislation is becoming less likely
over time, therefore making dam removal less likely and
undermining the necessity for the surcharge collection.
The congressional legislation to
authorize the dam removal agreements and give Secretary
of Interior Ken Salazar the power to make the final
determination on dam removal was introduced in November
2011 but has since stalled.
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Page Updated: Saturday November 03, 2012 12:47 AM Pacific
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