“Federal Regulators Throw Wrench Into Klamath River Dam-Demolition Plan”

“PORTLAND, Ore. — Federal regulators on Thursday threw a significant curveball at a coalition that has been planning for years to demolish four massive hydroelectric dams on a river along the Oregon-California border to save salmon populations that have dwindled to almost nothing.

The deal, which would be the largest dam demolition project in U.S. history, relies on a delicate calculus: The power company that operates the Klamath River dams will transfer its hydroelectric license and contribute $250 million in order to sever itself from the removal project and avoid any further liability or unanticipated costs.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, however, on Thursday approved the license transfer on the condition that PacifiCorp remain a co-licensee along with the Klamath River Renewal Corporation, the non-profit coalition assembled to oversee the dams’ demolition.

That stipulation could kill or drastically alter the deal because removing PacifiCorp from the deal entirely better protects the utility’s ratepayers — an element that was necessary to gain the support from public utility commissions in both Oregon and California.”

Gillian Flaccus reports for the Associated Press July 16, 2020.

SEE ALSO:

“FERC Throws Wrench Into Major Dam-Removal Project” (E&E News)