Friday, February 23, 2018

Dam Battle - October 1967 Press

1 Oct, Denver Post predicts the odds are against the current Hayden effort to win House approval for the CAP. However, opponents know “they are in the fight of their lives”, since water for the CAP would deprive the Upper Basin states of their share. Time is pressing Hayden, 90 tomorrow, but there is little doubt he will get the ⅔-vote required in the Senate. But the real battle will be in the House, and so Hayden, accompanied by Arizona Representative Rhodes — who is on the House Appropriations Public Works Subcommittee  — visited Subcommittee Chairman M. Kirwan. Word has spread that, as chair of the public works appropriations conference, Kirwan agreed to go along with Hayden’s move to get the CAP accepted through the appropriations process. However, the House will then have to approve, with the CAP “sticking out on it like an immensely expensive sore thumb”.
   Denver’s congressman Rogers is a friend of Kirwan’s, but when, at their regular breakfast, Rogers brought up the CAP, “Kirwan exploded: Colorado shouldnt be so selfish.” However, after Rogers patiently explained Arizona’s switch from a basin-wide approach to a CAP-only bill, Kirwan concluded he “was in a spot”. Every kind of pressure will now be put on the uncommitted members of the subcommittee. Though rare, such a maneuver to push through the CAP as part of appropriations has happened.
  Hayden’s great power in the Senate will be confronted in the House by the influence of House Interior Committee Chairman Aspinall. He will be listened to on a matter where the committee structure is bypassed to vote on a bill never reported by any House committee. Despite his crotchety disposition, Aspinall is greatly respected, within his committee and the House. Also, the House is in an economy-minded mood. So Californian congressmen will use the tactic of asking House members how they can approve a $1.2 billion reclamation project. [Though the Aspinall version would cost over $2 billion.] The Californians and the Coloradans “have their work cut out for them.”

1 Oct, Washington Post editorializes about this “War”. Hayden’s is the second skirmish in Arizona’s “desperate” effort to obtain its water, following state approval of a go-it-alone plan. His move is designed to force a House vote in the face of Aspinall’s “hostility”, as shown by his closing the committee with “mountains of work still facing Congress”. If Hayden fails, the state will act and California will go to war to protect its over-quota use of Colorado River water beyond the 27-year guarantee in the Hayden bill. And the upper basin may be expected to try to use its share, too. The conclusion is that there is a critical need for the basin states to plan together to augment their water supply.

2 Oct, RMNews: Denver’s Rogers accused Hayden of “switching signals” in favor of Arizona. He repeated the [self-defeating] argument that Congress is tightening spending, and claimed Aspinall is not playing “dog in the manger”. He also claimed that Denver would have to shut down its water supply if Arizona needed it. Hayden, with Senate Appropriations okaying the CAP as a rider, is expected to bring up the matter Wednesday. Aspinall is now expected back in Washington this week, even though he had closed up shop because of Hayden re-focusing the legislation on the CAP.

2 Oct, SLC Tribune, added its view that Hayden’s acts are politically astute, but he does not “really expect” to get the CAP bill passed as a rider. The opposition from those like Aspinall seems to rule out such a route. However, there is no justification for bypassing established procedure. Utah needs its requirements considered, too.

2 Oct, Colorado paper reports that Aspinall, with other Colorado watermen, will be in Washington as of this date. Various congressmen’s opinions and newspaper speculation indicate the stir caused by Hayden’s action.

3  Oct, Sentinel notes Allott’s promise to filibuster Hayden’s action.

3 Oct, AP & UPI record that members of California’s House delegation met and voted to oppose any Hayden move in the House.

4 Oct, Denver Post, (B.Nover again) notes Aspinall’s Tuesday return to take over command in the battle to defeat the Hayden maneuver. Members from the Basin states are now trying to line up support for their sides.

5 Oct, AP reports Aspinall has set a special executive session of his Interior Committee next Tuesday to take up the CAP matter.

6 Oct, Republic, in its version, cites interviews with Aspinall and with ranking committee Republican J. Saylor in which they indicate there would be no vote on the CAP this year. Aspinall said further hearings may be necessary. Saylor said no vote now, but the CAP would have priority in 1968. Cong. M. Udall called the situation “a delicate matter”. The House members were speaking, in part, in response to criticism from Senate Republican leader Dirksen claiming there could be censure for that kind of stalemate. Aspinall’s earlier move to quit meeting had been opposed only by the two Arizonans. Saylor supported Aspinall’s move as part of the usual procedure, with the CAP, Redwoods, and wild rivers bill all left over for 1968.

7 Oct, Republic editorial interprets Aspinall’s earlier adjournment as a (intended) “death knell”. He has now reversed himself due to Hayden’s maneuvering. No one is sure what Aspinall will do, but Hayden has found a way to get him to pay attention.

9 Oct, Post  & RMNews run an AP assessment that is negative about Hayden’s chances; the House seems set against his attempt. Aspinall and Saylor both say they will not be pressured into a vote.

11 Oct, Republic, B.Cole headlines “Hayden Wins Aspinall Promise to Move CAP Bill”. Hayden, with an Aspinall promise for a Jan-Feb 1968 vote, “trudged” to the Senate floor to announce he has abandoned his rider maneuver. He spoke of a “definite assurance” of a House vote, as reported by a committee member who left the meeting early. Aspinall himself “tersely informed” reporters that he and Saylor had agreed “early in August” to give priority to the CAP, Redwoods, North Cascades, and wild rivers legislation. He would not say more, because “of all the propaganda there has been”. He declined to inform Hayden, since the House is an independent body. Udall spoke up, saying he would notify Hayden and ask him to abandon his rider. Udall was now satisfied that there would be an up or down vote, but added, “This is not a case of this committee caving in under pressure”, since he was confident Aspinall and Saylor had agreed in August on 1968 action, “although for reasons of their own they had never made the fact known”, and therefore the state had been left in a desperate situation. Saylor claimed “we arent supposed to advertise these things (e.g. the 1968 priorities), “and nobody asked me”.
[My observer’s view: Given the elaborate and continuous nods to “courtesy” in legislative dealing, it is highly dubious that Aspinall would not have said anything to Udall, who after all, had carried the burden in 1966 of leading the work in putting together the kitchen-sink bill Aspinall favored. Aspinall may well have intended to bring up the legislation in 1968, but his “discourteous” running off home, thus leaving Udall hanging is better interpreted as his attempt to pressure the Arizonans to cave on his key demands of a dam and import study. My conclusion: Hayden got the better of him.]

11 Oct, New York Times had “an angry chairman” Aspinall announcing early 1968 consideration of the CAP. Hayden then withdrew his rider and defused the “hot political fight” for the time being, having received assurances of House action. Aspinall had “hurried” back to convene the “extraordinary” session, following Hayden threats. Same date, the paper carried a fuller version, with no additional information.

11 Oct, RMNews (continuing its pro-Colorado view) headlined “Arizona Project Is Shelved Until ’68”. Everybody wore a smile, but nobody  was really very happy at the “quick one-two” compromise actions. However, Aspinall still vowed he might oppose the CAP bill. Hayden and Allott both claimed they had the votes. Some House committee members were “miffed” at not being informed of the “secret August” decision-making by Aspinall and Saylor. Senator Dirksen again criticized Aspinall for arbitrary actions. And Hayden, “shuffling from the Senate chamber with a grin” was “well-satisfied” that his expensive (“he couldnt recall the dollar amount”) project is a step closer to reality. Interestingly, a House committee staffer tried to say Aspinall had only given an “understanding” not an “agreement” that the committee could “work its will”. There was no promise that any particular version would be forthcoming. Hayden, however, said he was informed it would be his bill with some minor modification. He thought it benefited the entire basin, contrary to Aspinall’s opinion. Water supply is not at issue, he insisted. His goal was to get the CAP to the House floor after 20 long years of compromise, hearings, litigation and patience. And if Aspinall had not come back to town, we would have gone all the way, commented Hayden aide R.Elson.

12 Oct, Sentinel summed up the situation as “simmering for a while”. It reported that Cong. Udall and Aspinall had discussed the situation the previous weekend when they met for a land law review session in Milwaukee. Also, Udall had tried to move the bill at the executive session, but it was shouted down. There are several hurdles for the bill to get over, and Aspinall and Saylor did not talk about commitment or reporting the bill. A Utah congressman attacked the bill’s chances. And California’s Hosmer, in usual form, called the CAP “antiquated as the Model T”. There are injured feelings; Aspinall is furious at the press. Although Aspinall-Saylor repeatedly said they had an August agreement, no one else knew about it. The article quoted Colorado watermen as having confidence in being able to get agreement in the next three months.

12 Oct, Post quoted Allott in his satisfaction at having the regular order of business restored. But
12 Oct, RMNews, had Allott charging Hayden with plotting to block funds for the Colorado 5, since the only way the CAP would have enough water would be for Colorado never to have the new projects. [A report mostly indicative of Allott’s character.]
Another Colorado editorial called Hayden’s move a “mystery”. Aspinall would have acted without such actions.

13 Oct, Tucson Citizen, quoted a speech by Arizona governor Williams that the state was going to get its water, and since Hayden still has not gotten a federal plan passed, the state plan will continue to be worked on.

14 Oct, RMNews columnist carried a screed against Arizona, which “abrogated the agreements” of 1966. Even some Arizonans have doubts about a go-it-alone course. Colorado is correct in insisting on meaningful water augmentation studies.

15 Oct, Sentinel, reports on the letter Saylor wrote 6 Oct defending Aspinall. He said he and Aspinall agreed work should be concluded in August or September. We had spent considerable time on the problems of the Colorado Basin and decided to wait for 1968 for the committee to work its will. The letter was to Senate Republican leader Dirksen, who attacked Aspinall forcefully, though he did not like Hayden’s maneuver.

[As I review Aspinall’s statement and attitude as the Senate acted back in July-August, it seems clear that Hayden’s forces could well have had doubts that Aspinall would move on the CAP with any expedition. Aspinall may have thought he was justified in his prickliness and refusal to make any moves toward the Senate-Administration approach, but he also set himself up for forceful action against his obduracy. He certainly could have assured the Arizonans/Hayden back in August that the CAP was on the 1968 agenda. Instead he just closed the door and flounced off.] [More deeply, of course, is that the so-called shortage of water in the river was because of variations in water flow over the decades and the fact of the C.R.Compact that put everybody in a political strait-jacket. And deeper than that is the stupidity of believing in making over the Earth to satisfy the endless greediness of humanity.]

17 Oct, Sentinel presents a 11 Oct letter from Aspinall to Gov. Love that it is up to the state to make (water) policy: Make every effort to come into an equitable agreement among the Basin states, so that legislation can be prepared for the next session. Cong. M. Udall had also written urging the states to think in terms of augmenting using desalting, more precipitation, and salvage.

20 Oct, UPI report in Tucson Citizen from Spokane on a speech by Washington Cong. Foley that the CAP will be considered and it may be “an extremely dangerous time” for the Pacific Northwest. The “economics of our time” do not justify sending water from the Columbia to the Southwest. The Northwest is unified.

20 Oct, Republic reports that a quarter million dollars is being considered for state CAP planning in the legislature.
  In the same issue, Sec. Udall was “confident” that the CAP will be authorized. Patience prevailed. Every reason to be optimistic. The Senate-approved bill is the one backed by the administration.

22 Oct, Republic’s Cole wrote a semi-humorous reflection on the high hopes of the Hualapai for their dam and how they were dashed, “quick as you can say Sierra Club”, when the Great White Father and venerable Senate chiefs decreed there must never be such a dam. And their DC paleface lawyer told them not to waste their money chasing their own dam license. So remember not to count your tourists before the dam gets built. Here was more dated view:

23-4 Oct, Sentinel’s Nelson has a seven-part (I have two) series on the Colorado Basin legislation, going over all the issues, and how they might be resolved or not. On dams, he suggests Colorado would accept a lower Hualapai dam (but not much lower). The Hualapai are making propaganda for a dam that they might build. There are several pumped-storage projects being investigated in the Basin.

28 Oct, Sentinel, carried a speech by a federal water official summarizing the history of water being moved around for Los Angeles. [Today, 50 years later, it seems an echo from a lost time, though California must continue to wrestle with all aspects of the questions of water supply. But no one would say as the headline does: “West Coast Water Export Offer Predicted”.]

In the Oct CRAssoc newsletter, a Californian asks Arizona to re-join an effort to find a regional solution. Aspinall (8 Sep) is quoted as saying that the CAP will stay in his committee until Arizona “takes a more reasonable approach”.
The Hualapai had asked a national congress of tribes to support its effort.
It summarized a New Orleans newspaper’s view that the Hayden-Administration bill will only revive old views; the House should consider a greater perspective.

Oct “Western Water News described the new National Water Commission as passed by Congress. Some believe it was only to delay water import studies.

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