Thursday, December 28, 2017

Dam Battle - July 1967 Press (incl. a Kennedy river trip)

1 Jul articles, Post & AP, highlighted opposition to the Hayden-Jackson-Administration bill by California (Gov. Reagan will “oppose vigorously”) and Colorado & Wyoming (“special purpose legislation which proposes to rob Peter to pay Paul”).

2 Jul, the Sentinel predicted quick Senate passage and a long delay in the House. Aspinall spoke of it as “the death knell”, at least for “this year”. Behind-the-scenes talks remained unsuccessful. (The article remembered that the 1966 effort failed “in the face of strong opposition from conservation groups”.) The Senate will take up its version in July-August.

2 Jul, “disappointment” was voiced by Salt Lake City’s Tribune, although Senator Moss had voted for the measure since Utah’s projects were promised funding. He emphasized that he was disappointed in the final result.

4 Jul, the Star carried an AP story on the trip by Senator Kennedy’s large (over 40) short (the party left at Phantom ranch by foot, mule, or helicopter) river trip on four 28’ pontoons. They rescued a chihuahua, and “shot” some rapids on air mattresses. His only comment was that the river was “a great natural resource that should be enjoyed by as many as possible in years to come”. The Washington Post’s humorist Art Buchwald gave more details:

4 Jul Republic reported the Washington Post editorializing in favor of the Senate version.

5 Jul the Sentinel gave Allott credit for getting Hayden to accept all five of the Colorado projects and to use Hoover Dam revenues to make up for a decreased water flow (= power revenue) behind it due to Glen dam’s filling.

6 Jul, progress in the Senate did not stop Arizona from further gestures on a state plan, and chortling over California failing to get its guarantee made permanent—under Hayden’s amendment, it only lasts 27 years.

9 Jul the Sentinel’s Nelson indicated Coloradans were “sitting tight for the moment”. and on
10 Jul, he listed several amendments put forward by Allott & Kuchel intended to discomfit the Arizonans. And on
12 Jul, he listed those amendments that Allott and Kuchel failed to get, such as limiting the size and utility of the CAP aqueduct. 

(The dynamic was clear: Hayden-Jackson would add items that did not affect the CAP and would help other Basin states, but nothing would be done to harm the CAP or to promote any suggestion of inter-basin import. So import studies and any revenue-producing dams were off the table.

13 Jul, UPI reported that the House had passed Jackson’s National Water Commission bill.

July ambled along, time marked until the Senate started its floor debate. Criticism continued, Colorado taking the lead, with editorials urging support for Aspinall’s maximal position. Ed Johnson, the state’s senior water warrior, tried to stir up all the old issues and hatreds. (Denver Post, 14-16 Jul). Wyoming’s Senator Hansen chastised the Washington Post for supporting the Hayden approach. Rep M.Udall stated in the House committee that he would object to other projects (as in California’s San Felipe) going ahead before the CAP is approved, and he listed all the support Arizona had given others over the years. (Sentinel, 16 Jul, which also sniped that if Hayden had included Hualapai dam, the basin fund would accumulate double the money — exactly why the Northwest and pro-Canyon forces argued against it.)

18-20 Jul: Colorado papers reported the support around the state for moving on the five water projects, and supporting the Aspinall-Allott position of pro-dam and pro-import.

Finally, 30 Jul, the Republic, B. Cole, was able to describe floor action, as Hayden led on consideration of the CAP bill, his fourth time. This time, he was optimistic that democratic processes would prevail and the House act favorably. Yet, the governors of Utah and Wyoming maintained their dog-in-the-manger position, demanding that future water shortages be prevented. And Utah’s Moss warned of future trouble if Hualapai dam is not built—there would be litigation. The debate started at the end of the week, so the main debate would begin 2 August.

A Californian water news report said Cong. Hosmer was up in Canada, urging that country to look at its water resources so California could “dicker” with them.

No comments:

Post a Comment