Saturday, November 25, 2017

Dam Battle - June 1967 Press

The newsletter of a Californian “Colorado River Association” reprised the May Senate hearings, featuring their state’s Kuchel (r. fingerpointing) giving Secretary of the Interior Udall (l.) (and by extension, Arizona and Hayden, and Senators Anderson (m.) & Jackson — with eyes closed) a hard time:
The quote is the beginning of Kuchel’s charge that Udall had abandoned his 1966 Basin approach in the Pacific Southwest Water Plan. Kuchel also, of course, supported an import study and Hualapai dam (so much for the much-vaunted power of the Sierra Club of California).
  Also reported was the presidential signing of authorization for a nuclear desalting plant for California. It even printed an alarmist warning from Reclamation’s Dominy that rapids-running of the Colorado “is dangerous enough to require advance issuance of a permit to take the risk”. He notes that there were 362 river-runners in 1962; over 1000 in 1966, but 3.5 million visits to Lake Mead. [A recent report (“USNews” May 2017) called Lake Mead the “deadliest of US Park Service sites”, with an average of 8 drownings a year.]

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Dam Battle - May 1967 Press. And River-running report.

The legislative arena, battlefield, in 1967 was ready to be given a radically different appearance from the year before. In 1966, Aspinall and the House protagonists were given the opportunity to craft a Basin-wide accord. They did, but the time it took and the formidable opposition brought out as a result, doomed the effort, dependent as it was on passing the House with every detail in place no matter how far-fetched.
  The lessons from that experience learned, the administration and the Senate reconfigured the landscape with initiatives that broke with Basin accords while satisfying the major opponents the 1966 effort had revealed—the Pacific Northwest and advocates for a damless Grand Canyon. It cannot be stressed enough that the particular players—Sec. Udall, and Senators Hayden, Jackson, Anderson—disposed of the power necessary to make this reconfiguration work. With a different Interior Secretary, without the seniority and position of those three Senators, California and Colorado would have been more formidable proponents of the Aspinall-Basin House approach.
  If my contention is correct that this contest was a hinge moving America between very different futures, then those four individuals were key in directing the forces that prevailed.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Dam Battle - April 1967 Press

2 Apr, Republic, ad by Salt River Project: “You can be sure there will always be a plentiful supply of priceless water at the lowest possible cost even though the users of water may double in the next ten years.”

3-5 Apr, Star ran editorials and answering letters about the Young-Martin report that recommended changes in use of Arizona’s water, away from cattle feed, in order to avoid building the CAP. The paper was disturbing enough that the dean of U of Arizona’s agricultural college issued an official rebuttal. (Although a tempest in the Tucson teapot, the items showed the fears CAP backers had that any crack in the state’s pro-CAP front could doom their chances.)

5 Apr, Republic reports that Utah’s Senator Moss had introduced a bill for a CAP with a Grand Canyon dam and a feasibility study for water import. His approach was allied with California’s, reinforcing the line between the Hayden-Jackson-administration approach and the Colorado-California commitment to the 1966 effort.