The Klamath River Dams really are coming out

As you have probably already heard, yesterday the final hurdle for removing four dams on the Klamath River was overcome when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the plan submitted by the Klamath River Renewal Corporation.  Here is a good overview of the project and some of the controversy around it.  As is typical with major events like this, a lot of groups are going to attempt to take partial credit, but as this story makes clear, dam removal was primarily a business decision by PacifiCorp.  It was simply going to cost too much to add the now required fish passage to the four dams*.  FERC did not initially approve dam removal as PacifiCorp did not pledge sufficient funds to ensure removal and restoration.  California, and to a lesser extent Oregon, subsequently stepped in with financial backstops which lead to FERC’s approval. A lot of work still needs to be done but this is fantastic news. (*Two other dams on the Klamath River are not being removed as they have functional fish passage. The effort to remove dams on the Snake River is different in that they have fish passage, albeit ineffective.)