the film
Commentaries and editorials

Klamath Dams Provide Precedent
or Snake River Dams

by Rex Cozzalio
Capital Press, December 12, 2022

"You lose one dam, I think you could start losing them all."
-- Chandler Goule, CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers

Graphic: Recent Downriver Grain Shipments on the Snake River (2000 - 2019) Regarding the Nov. 18 article, "Snake River ag stakeholders comment on Klamath dam removal".

It may be understandable but unfortunate that those defending their own home will try to distance themselves from others targeted for destruction, pretending they are "too different" to be at risk.

Mr. Miller of Northwest River Partners believes "anyone who goes beyond the headlines" will recognize that the Klamath decision won't have implications for the Snake River dams. Sadly, that statement would indicate Mr. Miller has only read the special interest media headlines.

As the largest proposed project destruction in the known world, the Klamath may be on a smaller scale, but is directly related and currently cited by the same special interests as the "precedent" for "rewilding" on the Snake.

The Klamath Project is intrinsic to our entire region, and it is only through its symbiotic managed optimization of holistic benefits in our historically highly variable transitional climate zone that our area has been made sustainable for all beneficial uses, particularly environmental. Sound familiar?

Despite rhetoric otherwise, Klamath dams were approved with no anadromy fish passage by agencies over a 100 years ago because anadromy was never known in significant numbers above the present dams, supported by extensive evidence including salmon returns to the upper region indicating no negative overall impacts and recent archeological digs of over 15,000 fish bones proving that fact covering at least 8,000 years.

The "already paid for existing" Klamath power generation facilities in excellent condition is the least expensive, most cost effective, renewable, demand-responsive power possible serving over 70,000 homes central to our rural area infrastructure and vital to regional power stability and reliability.

The deep water lakes created by them provide the only current known significant downstream improvement of upstream water quality. Mr. Miller's "comparison" of a grossly underestimated 10-year-old "cost" to "blow" the Klamath to an estimated total "replacement value" of dam provided benefits on the Snake is illogical or intentionally misleading, as the historical documentation, area specific experience, and current empiracle science places the "replacement value" of Klamath Project-provided regional environmental and economic sustainability "benefits" as fiscally and holistically irreplaceable. That regional loss would be permanent, "just" as it would be on the Snake.

Pacific Power was never in support of destruction, until agencies and special interests threatened and bribed them into submission, with the current owner transferring title before imposed massive acknowledged "unavoidable and unmitigated" damages occur.

The same rewilding agenda special interests targeting the dams have already been executing piecemeal assault on project symbiotic regional sustainability for decades in the Upper Klamath, directly resulting in unaccountable statistical decimation of the only two species used as the "modeled justification" for "rewilding" confiscation and regional devastation. Decades old "modeled" justifications for confiscation-without-compensation imposed in Upper Klamath miserably failed "restoration experiments" are the same "models" being used to "determine" current Project dam destruction claimed "benefits."

Meanwhile, the past decade of specifically applicable empirical studies and data directly refuting destruction "benefits" and predicting permanent damages have been pointedly ignored at special interest request.

Under the current FERC approved "agreement" terms, if not reversed, agencies and special interest signatories have created a "process" whereby they compelled a quasi-public entity to relinquish its assets and resources; effectively exclude the most impacted officially voting regional supermajorities in opposition; are held personally harmless for the damages they impose; unilaterally confiscate the funds for destruction from unrepresented and unwilling ratepayers/taxpayers suffering the consequences of that destruction; have virtually no accountability for mitigating the vast majority of damages; disappear after completed destruction or the money runs out, whichever occurs first; and personally benefit regardless of destruction outcome. In fact, the worse the environmental outcome, the more the Agencies and special interest signatories gain in future increased funding and confiscatory authority.

If that isn't a "precedent" model for future unaccountable destruction... what is?

Related Pages:
Snake River Ag Stakeholders Comment on Klamath Dam Removal by Matthew Weaver, Capital Press, 11/18/22

Rex Cozzalio, Hornbrook, Calif.
Klamath Dams Provide Precedent for Snake River Dams
Capital Press, December 12, 2022

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