Monthly Archives: January 2014

River Be Dammed

Profits vs. fish on the North Umpqua

By: Ted Taylor
Eugene Weekly

Some 65 dams came down for various reasons in the U.S. in 2012, according to National Geographic, and Oregon rivers are averaging three or four intentional dam breaches a year. But one troublesome dam, Soda Springs, still remains on the North Umpqua River, despite recommendations for its removal by a federal agency, numerous environmental organizations and even a study funded by the project’s owner, PacifiCorp. The story of why this remote dam remains standing is not widely known, and it boils down to corporate profits versus the environment, with bad timing thrown in. Read more

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New Administrator named for BPA

Associated Press

The U.S. Energy Department named a new administrator Monday to run the Bonneville Power Administration after a hiring scandal rocked the federal utility that sells and transmits much of the Northwest’s cheap and abundant hydroelectric power.

Elliot Mainzer has worked in various management jobs at BPA since 2002, including deputy administrator. He was named acting administrator last July upon the suspension of his predecessor, Bill Drummond.

“Elliot Mainzer has the proven experience to lead BPA during this important time and I look forward to working with him to serve BPA’s customers, constituents and employees in the months and years to come,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement.

Mainzer said in a statement that he was honored and excited to lead BPA “during this challenging and historic time for the region.” Read more

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