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Removing the Klamath Dams Essay

Removal of the J. C. Boyle, Copco 1, Copco 2, and Irongate dams along the Klamath River is making history for becoming the most expensive dam removal in the world. It is estimated to cost upwards of $1 billion (Fimrite). Part of that $1 billion burden will be paid by Pacific Power ratepayers. Pacific Power is owned by PacifiCorp. (This is a lot of information at the very beginning. A simpler introduction stating your thesis statement, then flowing into the statistics, would make this easier to follow.

The Oregon Senate passed bill 76 that allows a 2 percent surcharge on Oregon Pacific Power ratepayers for the removal of the four PacifiCorp dams (Preusch, Sickinger). Oregon ratepayers will cover the first $180 million of the dam’s removal. This is a good for Pacific Power customers, because if it passes the legislation in Washington D. C. and California ratepayers will not have to pay for PacifiCorp’s relicensing fees and other building cost associated with keeping the dams in place.

The cost would be much higher than two percent if Bill 76 fails. Ratepayers would have to cover the cost of the relicensing fee’s, fish ladders and screens, and alternative energy sources. The total cost of all of these factors is unknown, but one could speculate that cost will be much higher than $1 billion. Therefore it is in the best interest for Oregonians to remove the four Klamath River dams. One of the main reasons PacifiCorp dams should be removed is the cost of keeping the dams is more expensive than removing them.

(This sentence feels a bit awkward. Perhaps rephrase: “The cost of keeping the dams is more expensive than removing them, presenting a strong argument in favor of their elimination”, or something along those lines. ) A joint study by the California Energy Commission and the Department of the Interior released in 2006 shows that removing PacifiCorp’s Klamath River dams and replacing their power would save PacifiCorp ratepayers up to $285 million over 30 years(Souers). (This is a great argument-money is a big concern right now.

) Relicensing the dams, which would include the installation of fish ladders and other measures, would reduce generation by 23% and cost between $230 million and $470 million in 2005 dollars. In contrast, the decommissioning option, which includes removing four hydropower dams and replacing the power for 30 years, could cost between $152 and $277 million (Souers). (“In contrast” makes this train of thought a little confusing-it might be easier to understand if you switched the decommissioning stats with the relicensing ones to create a steady flow of information.

) Although this study is four years old, it is still the best information put forward to inform ratepayers how much more it will cost to keep the dams and keep putting money into PacifiCorp’s pockets. (What study is this? Who did it? ) Another problem with keeping the dams in place is the fact that PacifiCorp would still have to build alternative energy sources to meet customer demand. Installing the fish ladders around the dams will decrease the hydroelectric dam’s power output by 23%. PacifiCorp will have to build alternative energy sources with either outcome of the dam’s destiny.

They will have a few choices of different alternative energy sources such as; wind, solar, coal, biomass, and nuclear. Because PacifiCorp will have to build alternative energy sources with either decision made by legislature. It is in the best interest of Oregonians to remove the dams entirely and build alternative energy sources for all power output. (These four sentences are a bit confusing. I’m not sure if it’s too much information or too little, but the whole alternative energy concept you present feels choppy and doesn’t make much sense.

Perhaps a better explanation? ) Over time the upkeep on any of these alternative energy sources will be millions less than relicensing and re-outfitting the dams. (This is good! It feels like you were saying the alternative energy sources were a bad thing at the beginning of the paragraph. ) At first PacifiCorp denied that removing the dams would be more cost efficient than installing fish ladders, and restricting less water to meet the Clean Water Act.

Recently PacifiCorp filled 50 pages of data to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) stating that “the Energy Commission issued a supplemental report showing that it makes more economic sense than first thought to remove the dams and buy replacement power. Removing the dams would be about $114 million less costly than relicensing the project and installing expensive fish ladders, according to PacifiCorp data”(Chandler). Now even PacifiCorp is starting to see that it is cheaper to remove the dams than build elaborate fish ladders around them. Washington D.

C. has the overall say on the outcome of the dams. It has already passed Oregon’s senate with an 18-12 vote. Senator Jackie Dingfelder said “This bill and the dam removal will save money for Oregon ratepayers” (Preusch, Sickinger). Although it was not a landslide win, it was still a win. The dam removal could start as soon as the year 2020. It will still be some time before it passes through the California legislature where voters will be asked to approval a $250 million in general obligation bonds to pay for any of the additional costs(Preusch, Sickinger).

With roughly $200 million from Oregon ratepayers and $250 million from California’s voter approved bonds, the Federal government will cover the rest (Fimrite). That’s nearly an estimated $500 million. Oregonians can only hope that Washington will pass such a large bill and cover the enormous cost left over. (This is a great paragraph. It definitely hammers home the points of legislation. ) Even PacifiCorp realizes that they have made a mistake by stating that the fish ladders would be more cost and energy efficient. As stated above they made a mistake and now are jumping on the dam removal bandwagon.

(These two sentences feel a bit redundant. ) They signed bill 76 that passed the Oregon senate, and are now looking to the future of alternative energy. (This would be a good spot for a new paragraph. ) Although even the primary owner (PacifiCorp) is for the dam removal there are still some organizations that are opposed. Opponents, including Republican legislators, environmental groups and advocates for industrial ratepayers, suggest that the bill is being rushed through the Legislature without sufficient protections for ratepayers or controls on the use of the money (Preusch, Sickinger).

They are not necessarily opposed to the removal of the dams but the wording in the bill itself. Mike Carrier the governor’s natural resource policy advisor, insists that Oregonians have nothing to worry about and that Senate Bill 76 is the best thing for Oregon ratepayers. Mike Carrier would not want to lead the public in the wrong direction, because it would be bad for politics, thus bad for Ted Kulongoski’s public image. Since I’m a Pacific Power ratepayer myself I looked at both options for the dams removal or the dams re-outfitting.

Most of Oregon’s Pacific Power customers are in southern part of the state. I live in Klamath Falls, which is directly impacted by the dam’s outcome in many ways. It is in my best interest to figure out which of these options would be best for me and fellow Pacific Power ratepayers. I looked at both options will all available ligature that I could find on the subject and I have came up with a decision that is in the best interest for the people who will be directly affected by the dam’s outcome.

I have decided, along with many others including our states legislature that it is in the best interest for the people to have the dams removed entirely. (Again, these sentences are a bit redundant. And breaking these into separate paragraphs would make it easier to follow. ) Here are a few reasons why I feel that removing the dams will be the best outcome for Pacific Power customers. Raising our power bill by $1. 50 each month will have little monetary impact on our pocketbooks. I don’t even think that most ratepayers will notice the increase and go on paying like they have in the past.

Building the new greener, more efficient power sources will decrease the cost of power in the long run. There will be a plethora of jobs for local Klamath County residents. These jobs will be created by removing the dams, cleaning the river area, and building the new energy sources. Klamath County currently has a 12. 2% unemployment rate which is higher than Oregon overall unemployment rate of 9. 9%. This removal project will help produce much needed jobs for a long time which will benefit many thousands of unemployed Klamath County residents.

Overall it’s a win-win scenario For all Oregonian who are supplied by Pacific Power. Paying the monthly $1. 50 is all we will lose. (Is there part of a sentence missing here? ) But what we will gain is a cheaper power bill for the future and cleaner more efficient power for generations of Oregonians to come. (This is a little choppy, but it wraps up the idea nicely. ) Troy: Overall this is a good paper, and you strongly presented the case for the removal of the dams and the little bit of controversy that seems to be surrounding it.

You have strong facts to back up the argument for their removal addressing the key issue for most people, which is the dollars and cents of the deal. I was a little confused about your target audience though. Is this for Oregon taxpayers? And your thoughts seemed to loop and repeat here and there, making it hard to follow along. The section on your personal involvement made the paper very personal but seemed to be the point where the structure got lost a little bit, making it hard for the reader to follow along.

I would either blend your personal observations in with your statistics or simply smooth out your thought processes to let them flow and be easier to understand. I definitely didn’t miss the fact that the dams are creating some major problems, however, so I’d say for a rough draft this was great! Works Cited *Preusch, Matt and Slickner, Ted. “Senate Oks surcharge for Klamath dam removal. ” Waterwatch 17 Feb. 2009. URL=http://www. waterwatch. org/pressroom/press-clips/senate-oks-surcharge-for-klamath-dam-removal * Souers, Amy. “Studies Show it’s Cheaper to Remove Klamath Dams.

” American Rivers. 1 Dec. 2006. URL= http://www. americanrivers. org/site/News2? id=9349&page=NewsArticle *Chandler, Claudia. “Energy Commission Analysis Says Klamath Dam Removal, not Upgrades, More Beneficial than Earlier Projected. ” News Release California Energy Commision. 26 Mar. 2007. URL= http://www. energy. ca. gov/releases/2007_releases/2007-03-26_klamath. html * Fimrite, Peter. “Steps Taken Toward Removing Klamath River Dams. ” San Francisco Chronicles. 14 Nov. 2008. URL= http://www. sfgate. com/cgi-bin/article. cgi? file=/c/a/2008/11/14/MNA21441S7. DTL

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