The power company says the controversial Klamath River hydroelectric dams are a source of clean energy that does not contribute to carbon emissions. Environmentalists and fisherman believe the dams have damaged the river and threatened livelihoods.
"Whether the power company, PacifiCorp, wants to keep the dams because they improve air quality or simply because they are inexpensive to operate is not clear. But emphasizing an environmental argument that touches on climate change has added a new wrinkle to the longstanding debate over dam removal in the Pacific Northwest. In a region where plenty of residents measured their 'carbon footprints' long before green became the new black, PacifiCorp is suggesting that righting one environmental wrong could lead to another, one that could affect people more than fish."
"Those who support removing the dams largely dismiss the clean-energy argument, saying the benefits outweigh losing a relatively small source of hydropower...Yet whatever is spent to restore salmon, and whether the solution is fish ladders or dam removal, the company has said that its customers will bear the cost, and the carbon."