Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Klamath Agreement: A Compromise

The plan to tear down the Klamath Dams has been in the news again. The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat seems to think it's a great idea all parties agree on. No surprise there. The Sacramento Bee's Dan Walters takes a more cynical view, focusing on who would end up paying for it.

I found the comment by an Oregonian to the SRPD editorial enlightening. He claims polls and votes taken in the Klamath Basin show 70 to 82% disapproval of the agreement. Seems to me even some so- called progressives should disapprove of the way the planned dam removal is funded with the owner of the dams, PacifiCorp, paying for only a small portion of the removal. Taxpayers, some through a California water bond, pay for most of it.

I offer a compromise: Why not leave the dams in place and, rather than spend at least a billion dollars on a questionable removal, just spend a few million and install fish ladders to allow salmon migration? That way we'd be able to pretty much have it all: The fish can migrate. We get the water storage capacity of the dams, their power generation and save millions of dollars, as well.

Seems to me everybody wins under an agreement like that, even if we use part of the California water bond to pay for it.



At 5:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Better than Taxpayers paying 75% of the tab!

At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The people hurt by the dam removal will be ordinary American families, farmers & ranchers who now produce food (beef, potatoes, hay, etc) and real jobs for people who do real work. Yes, there are serious water quality problems. If fish were to make it up the fish ladders, they would die in the oxygen-depleted water above the dams. There is also a problem with pesticide & fertilizer entering the Klamath from irrigation runoff. Those problems can be fixed, but we, as a country, will be the poorer for dam removal. Perhaps that is the real goal.


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