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The Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC) is a non-profit having no assets of its own, created by the special interest amended Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA) signatories, effectively shielding themselves from liability.

Mark Bransom, paid CEO of the KRRC, was hired for one purpose…to carry out KHSA destruction of the dams and reservoirs. At a recent meeting when questioned what they would do if the KRRC had insufficient money, an annoyed Mr. Bransom stated “no matter what else happens, KRRC will blow the dams.”

Mr. Bransom was kind enough to correct statements in my H&N edited opinion, which original submission actually went into greater detail. His only correction which is correct relates to my word choice of “at most 5 percent (of available funds) of your money is allowed for as-needed local contractors.” At most was my shortened interpretation of Mr. Bransom previously stating 5 percent as the goal, which to my understanding is a real-world high end estimate. As to his remaining statements, the following are a (rebuttal) to his corrections.

Financial statistics were never attributed to Kiewit. The budget numbers came directly from Mr. Bransom and Mr. Meurer during prior KRRC informational meetings and releases. Responses regarding Kiewit were made specifically to Kiewit H&N directly quoted article claims.

Mr. Bransom”s “correction” of “hundreds of jobs” for the Basin uses their now old modus of bait and switch. My actual quote was “The KRRC and Kiewit know their proclaimed jobs creation is temporary and will collapse in several years, following the destruction of proven, irreplaceable dam environmental enhancements and income resources”, which is undeniable by KRRC’s own stated terms. Any claims of eventual benefit come with no historically supported assurance, particularly true coming from a shell corporation dissolving after acknowledged irreversible regional devastation. Holding themselves harmless, profiting KHSA signers will later mass market restoration benefits regardless of outcome or consequence to others, and Mr. Bransom will simply move on.

I thank Mr. Bransom for clarifying how insurance works in “protecting your neighbor,” so I guess every 12-year-old who knows insurance is designed to protect the purchaser must be wrong. One hopes that insurance also protects the harmed, but I am aware of no liability insurance that leaves the decision of award up to the client. By intent, only the KRRC can be held liable for non-contractual agenda caused damages. With a cap on ratepayer/taxpayer funds; no other corporate asset security; high end cost projections substantially exceeding available funds; no additional funding sources; and limited budget to purchase coverage, what providing insurance carrier wouldn’t endlessly fight any award for damages potentially opening a door to their own insolvency?

That fact places an economic legal barrier between the KRRC and everyone with limited resources harmed outside of those few covered under the KHSA. Even FERC recognizes those concerns, calling just last week for the KRRC to produce proof of as yet non-existent insurance coverage. Ironically, FERC’s stated priority for approving destruction is that KHSA signatories must first be protected from liability. Doesn’t bode well for others, does it?

Mr. Bransom also tries to confuse “with your money, taken by benefiting signers, who contribute none of their own.” By restating where the funds originate, he simply confirms my statement. By agreement, none of the costs are carried by benefitting KHSA signatories, only by the ratepayers and taxpayers having no direct representation at the table. Regardless of claimed intent, PacifiCorp’s primary obligation is to its shareholders, not the ratepayers. Later review by governor appointed agenda compliant Public Utility Commissions does not change that reality.

Regarding Klamath Basin benefits, whether of no concern or outside his purview, Mr. Bransom failed to notice the remaining paragraphs of my letter describing just a tiny portion of the current science, dams removals, and history now predicting the additional loss and oppression that unaccountable downstream Project destruction will bring to the Upper Basin.

Mr. Bransom stating “our goal is to provide a deeper understanding of the many complex issues involved in the dam removal process” would be laughable were not so many lives at risk. At every meeting to date, neither Mr. Bransom nor Mr. Meurer have been able to effectively address any “complex issue” questions beyond their assigned KHSA destruction “intent” and their “looking into it” marketing rhetoric, deferring unanswered inequities and uncertainties to “amended” KHSA authors holding themselves unreachable and unaccountable. His ending statement implies it all… “so the public can make their own informed opinions about the project.”

Like the KHSA benefitting signers, Mr. Bransom apparently feels the regional supermajority most vested, impacted, and suffering the greatest short and long term consequences, may have an opinion...just not a choice.

Send your concerns to FERC.

Rex Cozzalio is a third-generation resident on the Klamath River who’s property is downstream from Iron Gate Dam.

Gerry OBrien, Editor