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Supporting KBRA means supporting dam removal

Herald and News Letter to the Editor July 1, 2010 by Jerry Jones, Chiloquin

The Herald and News seems intent on heading off a recall of county commissioners Al Switzer and Cheryl Hukill, while at the same time lamenting their lack of a principled position in support of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement.

The commissioners tried to equate Bill Garrard's support for settlement negotiations with support for the KBRA. Support for talks is not the same as support for a specific solution as represented by the KBRA.

Support for the KBRA is support for dam removal because that is part of the agreement.

The commissioners stated that dam removal was a private business decision by PacifiCorp that government has no business interfering with. Never mind the company is a public utility with a guaranteed profit margin based on projected expenses. As such, both the commissioners and the utility have an obligation to act in the whole public interest.

Furthermore, the commissioners fail to say how the KBRA would change the biological opinion to allow more water to flow to farmers. Is this an admission that the biological opinion is a purely political document?

Presently, the government is letting extra water out in winter months so we will have a water shortage the next few years to ensure dependent farmers' support for the KBRA.

The just position is for commissioners to advocate for equal drought relief payments for all farmers' suffering drought.

The newspaper laments the damage a recall could inflict on the community. The commissioners could easily stop one by renouncing their support for the KBRA and pledging to represent the majority views of those who elected them.

Jerry Jones


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              Page Updated: Friday July 02, 2010 02:42 AM  Pacific

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