(Siskiyou County, CA) – Congressman Doug LaMalfa issued the following statement after California Governor Gavin Newson, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, Karuk and Yurok Tribal Leaders, and PacifiCorp announced that they will be moving forward with the removal of four Klamath River Dams. In their new agreement, California and Oregon will partner with the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) to assume liability for the dam removal project, transferring the license to operate the dams from PacifiCorp. This comes after a July announcement from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that KRRC would not be able to be a sole licensee on the project because it “has limited finances and no experience with hydropower dam operation or dam removal.”
LaMalfa said: “California’s quest to remove these perfectly good dams continues. Now the taxpayers of California and Oregon will be on the hook due to this agreement to pick up a multi-billion dollar expense for the cost and liability of the inevitable environmental damage this project will cause. Removing these dams will do nothing to help fish but will destroy water storage needed for firefighting and will bankrupt Siskiyou County.
“Let’s face it, the State of California has a terrible history of managing dams and completing large projects. After the Oroville Dam spillway crisis in 2017, the grossly expensive Bay Bridge project, and the failed High Speed Rail, it would be foolish to assume California can well-manage projects of significant scope. Removing these dams will be difficult and will inevitably cause more harm than good to ratepayers, taxpayers, and the fish the state is claiming to protect.
“The dams themselves are a benefit to our overloaded power grid and the local area economy. Especially in a year where power is a precious commodity and in short supply at times, removing this reliable, renewable, and cost-effective energy source will harm Basin-area residents, Oregon ratepayers, and our already stretched state grid.”
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