"Congress, Tear Down These Dams," Says SF Chron




On Monday, the Associated Press published a story outlining the results of a U.S. Geological Survey study, which examined the likely effects of removing four dams on the Klamath River. The upshot? It's a good idea.

As AP reporter Jeff Barnard explains, federal scientists believe the $1 billion dam-removal project would restore the ecosystem, improve commercial fishing harvests and boost regional farm revenues:

Overall, the benefits far outweigh the costs, by as much as 47.6 to one, the report found.

(If you'd care to peruse all 399 pages of the report, click here for the pdf.)

Today, the San Francisco Chronicle's editorial board called out an "Amen!," encouraging Congress to "heed science over politics" and tear those suckers down. Oregon and California support dam removal, as does PacifiCorp, the company that owns the dams, along with a broad coalition of enviros, tribal leaders, fishermen and ranchers.

Stakeholders have signed two major agreements, the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement and the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement, but a deal authorizing removal of the dams got hung up last year in the foul, fetid waters of Congress.

"There are no other sensible options," the Chron editorial states. "Leaving the dams in place deepens the river's decline. ... Tear down the dams now."

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