Jessica Cejnar / Friday, Sept. 11, 2020 @ 11:40 a.m.

Huffman, Colleagues, Call On Warren Buffett To Move Forward With Klamath River Dam Removal

JC Boyle Dam, one of four along with Copco 1, Copco 2 and Iron Gate, slated for removal from the Klamath River. Wikimedia Commons


Unexpected Decision By Federal Regulators Sends PacifiCorp Back to Negotiations Over Klamath Dam Removal


About a month after he led a public hearing on the impacts of four dams on the Klamath River, Congressman Jared Huffman is calling on Warren Buffett, PacifiCorp and Berkshire Hathaway to allow the project to proceed.

In a Friday press release from Huffman's office:

Today, Representatives Jared Huffman (CA-02), Chair of the Natural Resources Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee, Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Natural Resources Committee Chairman, and Deb Haaland (NM-01), Chair of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands, led a letter to Warren Buffett urging him to move forward with the agreement to remove four aging dams on the Klamath River owned by PacifiCorp and Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, which have made millions for PacifiCorp’s shareholders to the detriment of native communities and cultures.

The Members appealed to Mr. Buffet in their letter, stating: “Our country is in the middle of a reckoning with systemic racism and injustices that continue to impact communities of color. Across the west, western water projects like PacifiCorp’s have come at the expense of Indigenous peoples and tribal fisheries and resources. Today, PacifiCorp has an opportunity to bring about a more just and equitable future by confronting the historic and ongoing harm caused by PacifiCorp’s obsolete dams on the Klamath River.

“Rarely do social justice and economics intersect so clearly and create such an opportunity. We urge you to move PacifiCorp over the finish line with all haste and do the right thing for the people of the Klamath River, your customers, and your shareholders. The Klamath River and the people who depend on it cannot afford further delay,” they concluded.

In 2010, after widespread public outcry, PacifiCorp struck a deal with several tribes, the states of Oregon and California, and fishing and conservation groups to remove the dams and revive the river.  Under the deal, the settling parties asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to transfer the hydro license to a dam removal entity they formed called the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC).  FERC recently approved that request, with the condition to keep PacifiCorp as a co-licensee until the dams are removed. The company is now using this decision to call the agreement into question and further delay removal of the dams. 

This August, Representative Huffman led an investigative forum to examine the impact of the dams on the Klamath River. Rep. Huffman was joined by California State Senator Mike McGuire, Assemblymember Jim Wood, and members of the House Natural Resources Committee, including Rep. Ruben Gallego and a video appearance by Rep. Deb Haaland in questioning a panel of expert witnesses.


Congressional Letter to Warren Buffett


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