Toxic algae bloom in Klamath River caused by outdated dams.
Four dams on the Klamath River have had devastating consequences for the environment, imperiled salmon, river communities and tribal people who have subsisted off of salmon since time immemorial. For over 20 years stakeholders have worked together in an agreement that would remove the dams and restore the Klamath River in what would be the largest river restoration project in history.
Billionaire Warren Buffet's company Berkshire Hathoway and its subsidiary PacifiCorp has the opportunity to move forward with dam removal, and has collected hundreds of millions of dollars from shareholders and tax payers to protect its customers and shareholders for the purpose of dam removal, but now the company is threatening to back out of the dam removal agreement.
Please take a moment to personalize the form below below and send Warren Buffett a message urging his company Berkshire Hathoway and its subsidiary, PacifiCorp to move forward with Klamath dam removal.
On July 16, 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) made the decision to allow a partial transfer of the lower four Klamath River dams to the Klamath River Renewal Corporation for the purpose of dam removal.
FERC conditioned that PacifiCorp, a company owned by Billionaire Warren Buffett, remained a co-licensee. PacifiCorp now says that FERC’s decision denies its customers the protections it negotiated, and they want to renegotiate, despite having already collected $200 million from their ratepayers and $250 million from California taxpayers for the purpose of dam removal. The Agreement already shields PacifiCorp from risks and liabilities associated with dam removal, making the Agreement already in PacifiCorp’s best financial interests.
Buffett’s PacifiCorp is threatening to back out of the dam removal agreement. This goes back on two decades of negotiations and betrays the trust of their partners, who include many Tribal nations and Klamath River communities. Threatening to walk out on Klamath River and coastal communities is not the behavior of a socially responsible company. It’s time for PacifiCorp to recommit to dam removal.
With every year that passes, Klamath River salmon edge closer to extinction. We can’t afford any more delays in this process. It’s time for Warren Buffett’s PacifiCorp to do the right thing and allow this dam removal agreement to move forward.
Most experts view dam removal as the lynchpin for solving the water crisis that plagues the drought-prone Klamath Basin almost every year. Shallow, stagnant reservoirs breed toxic algae and decimate water quality, pushing Klamath River salmon to the brink of extinction. Decades worth of spawning gravel has accumulated behind the dams, preventing proper habitat conditions downstream, and anadromous species that historically migrated to the Upper Klamath Basin have lost access to over 420 miles of spawning grounds and habitat. Upriver Tribes like the Klamath Tribes of Oregon have not had access to salmon in over 100 years. A lack of salmon and clean water directly contributes to ongoing health issues in the region, including high rates of diabetes and heart disease. Dwindling salmon populations make it so that fishermen and communities cannot subsist from salmon fisheries, contributing to poverty and a loss of livelihood in Oregon and California.
The dams provide no irrigation diversions, no drinking water diversions, and no significant flood control benefit. California and Oregon have already approved dam removal permits. The money to remove the dams has already been raised by ratepayers and taxpayers. On July 29, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom sent a letter to Warren Buffet, urging Berkshire Hathaway and its subsidiary, PacifiCorp, to move forward with dam removal. Financially, dam removal is cheaper than retrofitting improvements in the form of fish ladders. Relicensing the dams is risky and expensive- managing the aging structures today costs more than they’re worth.
IT’S BEEN 20 YEARS, NO MORE DELAYS! IT IS TIME TO UNDAM THE KLAMATH!
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