Readers' views for July 15, 2011
Refunds or relicense dams?
Once again the lawyer in PacifiCorp's Dean Brockbank surfaces. By the way, he is an excellent lawyer, the best our ratepayer money can buy. Brockbank does seem to clarify PacifiCorp's motives in its obvious mission to amass hundreds of millions of dollars from the ratepayers, which they openly plan to use for relicensing the dams, when the decision is made to keep them in place.
Heaven forbid (that) billionaire Warren Buffett or PacifiCorp's shareholders actually spend some of their pennies to upgrade and relicense their aging dams.
Yes, when dams are not destroyed, refunding our money is an option under state Senate Bill 76. But PacifiCorp has stated in numerous public meetings that they have no intentions of refunding those charges to ratepayers. This money will go toward relicensing the dams. Those documented, recorded comments were plainly stated in Klamath Falls, at a "Prosper Meeting" at the Ross Ragland Theater on Jan. 19, 2011, and again at Oregon Institute of Technology, during a public meeting on the Department of Interior dam removal studies on March 16.
Brockbank and PacifiCorp's local representative have stated in interviews, public meetings and in the media, about a private meeting in Shepherdstown, W.Va., May 2008. They were "locked down" for a week in this meeting, with officials from the Department of Interior, Bush administration and Oregon's and California's governors' offices. They "made it very clear from a public policy point of view that they did not want these dams relicensed." PacifiCorp was told that relicensing the dams would be next to impossible to achieve with a steady stream of litigation scenarios and burdensome regulations that would be forced upon them.
Once again, Brockbank and billionaire Warren Buffett's PacifiCorp ignore "the rest of the story."