Prepared by noted energy economist David Marcus, the report cites several instances where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers included outright errors or used key data inconsistently in its August 2001 economic analysis that reform opponents cite when asserting that dam operation reform will raise consumer rates.
..."Assuming these savings are passed on to consumers, it would mean an average reduction in monthly electric bills for a typical consumer in the upper Missouri River Basin states of between 3 and 5 cents," concluded economist David Marcus, who conducted the study on behalf of the two organizations.
In addition, the Corps made two errors in a third analysis of how more natural seasonal water levels would affect operations costs for downstream coal and nuclear plants, which must meet river temperature standards when discharging water used for cooling.The first error is that a number of the projects cited are in fact upstream of the last Missouri River dam -- and therefore unaffected by the proposed reforms.The second is that none of the proposed reforms would drop river levels below what is specified in the permits of the most important power plants along the river where most of the impacts were forecasted (by the Corps) to occur.
For example, the most aggressive reform scenario would drop river levels to 21,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) during the late summer.The Corps speculated that this could impact the operations of the Neal coal-fired power plant near Sioux City, Iowa, even though the Neal plant's permit allows for normal operations at river levels as low as 10,500 cfs.
...About David MarcusDavid Marcus has a Master's Degree in Energy and Resources from the University of California at Berkeley.He has worked as a staff member and as an advisor to a Commissioner at the California Energy Commission, and as a staff economist for Environmental Defense.Since 1985 he has been a full time independent energy consultant.He
has performed economic analyses of electric power issues for a variety of clients, including the California
Attorney General, the U.S. Department of the Interior
, environmental groups, labor unions, electric utilities, and alternative energy developers.He
has testified as an expert witness before state regulatory commissions in California, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico, and before Congressional subcommittees.This analysis was commissioned by the non-profit national conservation groups Environmental Defense
and American Rivers
For More Information
Save the Missouri Coalition
: http://www.savethemissouri.org American Rivers